Our Town Meal Distribution
How to Get Meals
- Come to the MLK Center at 1107 Adrian St. in Jackson from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting Feb. 1. The program will last through April 9.
- There will be no meal distribution on Friday, April 2 due to Good Friday, so a distribution event will take place the previous day on Thursday, April 1.
- Please do not line up in your vehicle before 3:30 p.m. the day of distribution.
- If you come in a vehicle, please stay in your vehicle and follow signs to the distribution area.
- Walk-ups are welcome, but please be prepared to wait in line and social distance. Please do not park and then go to the walk-up line as that causes traffic congestion.
- Healthy meals from local restaurants are given to anyone who needs a meal.
- Meals are available on a first come, first serve basis. The program often runs out of meals between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Meals will be available until 6 p.m. if there are any left over.
- Volunteers in the distribution area will assist you.
- Meals are pre-packaged and can be reheated at home.
- Vegetarian options are available.
- Monetary donations are accepted but not required.
About Our Town Meal Distribution
Consumers Energy and the City of Jackson are joining forces the Our Town Meal Distribution Program, a one-of-a-kind collaboration in Michigan to support local restaurants and provide free meals to community members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new Our Town program is distributing thousands of meals to Jackson families in need for 10 weeks, starting Feb. 1 and lasting through April 9. Nearly $500,000 contributed by Consumers Energy and several community partners will pay over 20 locally owned restaurants to prepare healthy meals. Restaurants also will ensure that over half of the food is locally sourced, creating more economic value for the community. Businesses are paid $10 per meal. 1,500 meals are being provided at each distribution event at the City's Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center.
In the first five weeks of the program, 18,100 free meals were distributed from the City's MLK Center, generating nearly $200,000 in payments to local businesses.
The Jackson restaurants taking part in the second round of Our Town are:
- The Crazy Cowboy
- Nite Lite
- Cascades Manor House
- KeniKakes & More Catering
- Marino's Pizza and Catering
- Junkyard Dog
- Sylvia's Catering
- HotRodz Smokehouse
- Aggies Sports Bar
- Callaghan's Coffee Cafe
The Jackson effort is inspired by Everyone Eats, a program in Brattleboro, Vt., that used federal funding to support restaurants and provide thousands of meals. Consumers Energy and Jackson city officials hope the Our Town approach can lead to more donor-driven efforts across Michigan. The effort also is supported by the Dream Maker Fund, the Jackson Community Foundation and the Enterprise Group Community Ventures Corporation. The City of Jackson is contributing to the program by lending the use of City facilities, resources, and staff.
How to Help
Monetary donations are accepted through the Jackson Community Foundation. Donate online through the Community Foundation website. Checks may be mailed to the Jackson Community Foundation, 100 S. Jackson St. Suite 206B, Jackson, MI 49201. When donating online of by check, indicate you are giving to the Dream Maker Fund/Restaurant Initiative. Supporting local restaurants by getting take-out is also another way to show support.
Community members and organizations are also welcome to give their time as volunteers! You can sign up through the City website using the link on this page.
How Restaurants Get Involved
- City and Consumers Energy announce program to support local restaurants, provide meals to community (Jan. 19)
- Our Town Meal Program serves 18,100 meals, gives $200,000 to local businesses in first 5 weeks (March 4)