JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Church and nonprofit members attended a meeting at the Jackson Medical Mall on Monday to learn how to help those in need this summer.
Jackson Meals Matter is a program that addresses food insecurity in the city.
“This is an initiative that’s been championed by our mayor and the first lady of the city. Both of them are very aware of what’s going on in the city and definitely want to address hunger any way they can,” said Tyson Jackson.
He is a program coordinator for CHAMPS: Cities Combating Hunger which is a sister program of Jackson Meals Matter.
This master class taught these community leaders how to file the paperwork and receive the proper reimbursements to provide these summer meals.
The hunger problem is one that Cassio Batteast of Kings Leadership said affects so many.
“If you imagine Jackson, we’re looking at 178,000 people give or take some. We only have 80 sites, may serve 200 kids. And we got 30,000 students in JPS," said Batteast.
A number that those who already care for children, such as Colibri Jenkins, executive director of AVA Family Services found to be shocking.
“The young people who are living in hunger was a shock to me that there are so many. I knew that was an issue, but I didn’t that it was as prevalent as it is. If more people understood the need, I think we would have more organizations trying to give help to other people, and I think we would have even more restaurants that might offer to give services to the population as well," she said.
With the information presented today, Batteast hopes they’ll have at least 100 feeding sites ready to start in June.