A new program designed to help families stretch their food dollars is slated to launch next month in Jackson.
People can pay $29 for 11 pounds of frozen meat and vegetables and order the food through participating area churches and nonprofits. Mid America Foods in Chicago will then deliver the food to Jackson.
This makes it a hand up, rather than a hand out, said Linda Page, a member with her husband, Cyril, of First Church of the Nazarene, 3905 Clinton Road.
The church was involved in a similar program, Angel Food Ministries, for about 10 years, and members were in “panic mode” when that ministry closed in August.
“Our numbers had actually gone down in recent months (before that ministry closed) because they told us they didn't have the money to wait until the next week to pick up their food,” she said. “We have a lot of people living paycheck to paycheck, wondering how they will exist. This is a means to keep them going.”
Page said she heard about Mid American Foods through a sister church to First Church of the Nazarene in Sturgis.
Angel Food Ministries fed more than 300 Jackson-area families. A group of about 25 people recently gathered to brainstorm ways to continue helping those families, said Wendy Wight of We Can Make a Difference,224 W. Wilkins St.
Wight’s group will host “tasting party” at noon Wednesday Feb. 1 for area churches and nonprofits interested in becoming involved and to sample the food from the Chicago company.
She said people work through a participating church or nonprofit and order the amount of food they want by mid-month. The food is delivered to Sercombe Trucking in Jackson and those agencies pick it up, take it to their buildings and people who have placed orders pick them up the last Saturday of the month. It will begin next month, so orders need to be placed by Feb. 18 and food will be picked up Feb. 25.
There is no minimal income required to participate in the program, food stamps are accepted and people can order any number of packages of food.
Anyone interested in getting involved should attend the tasting or call Page at 499-5574. People interested in ordering should contact a church or nonprofi.