Our Town Meal Distribution

MEAL DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM

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.

The new Our Town program will distribute thousands of meals to Jackson families in need for 10 weeks, starting Feb. 1. 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. 

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. 

Meals will be distributed at the King Recreation Center, 1107 Adrian St., from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting Feb. 1. Meals will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Community members, potential volunteers and restaurants interested in the program can learn more on this web page. 

The first Jackson restaurants taking part in Our Town are:

  • Bella Notte Ristorante, 137 W. Michigan Ave.
  • 308 Brass Rail, 308 W. Prospect St.
  • Big Guy Catering, 309 S. Jackson St.
  • Candi’s BZB Café, 225 S. Mechanic St.
  • Gene Davis & Sons Catering, 3575 Francis St.
  • Grand River Brewery, 117 W. Louis Glick Highway
  • Ixcanul, 7851 Spring Arbor Road
  • Jackson Coney Island, 615 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Knight’s Steakhouse & Grill, 2125 Horton Road
  • WestEnd Farm to Table, 414 W. Michigan Ave.

How to Get Meals

The Our Town Meal Distribution Program is ready to help anyone with a need. If you'd like to receive meals come to the King Recreation Center from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting Feb. 1. Meals will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participants are asked to line up in their cars and follow a designated line to receive meals. The meals will be frozen with vegetarian options. Donations will be accepted by payment is not required. 

How Restaurants Get Involved 

The goal of this program is to distribute pre-prepared/pre-packaged meals to Jackson families in need, while supporting our restaurants with pre-determined sales. Based on current funding levels, the program will run for 10 weeks beginning Feb. 1, and will be divided into two five-week periods (6-10 restaurants will be selected to participate in each period). The program could be extended if additional funds are secured. 

Restaurants will be paid $10 for each meal provided. All locally owned Jackson County restaurants and catering facilities are invited to apply online and directly submit applications through the City website. A PDF file of the application is available for download. 

Rules and regulations are included in applications. All applications must be submitted through the City website or emailed to restaurantprogram@cityofjackson.org by Friday, Jan. 8 at 5 p.m to qualify for the first round. Participating restaurants for the first round will be announced on Jan. 15. 

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. 

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  1. 161 W. Michigan Ave. Jackson, MI 49201

    (517) 768 – 6410