Wednesday, April 1, 2020
The Jackson COVID-19 Community Food and Aid Coalition is a collaboration of local groups that formed a food dispatch and delivery service to support the most vulnerable residents in Jackson, including elders and children, by supplying weekly food supplies during this quarantine period. This team also prioritizes local college campuses and communities to make sure students and others in need have access to these resources.
Rosaline McCoy, the Capitol Unit Director of Boys & Girls Club Central said these services will continue to provide for local communities until the food runs out. “To put a date on it would be unfair. As long as we keep getting support and resources, we will keep the wheels rolling,” she says.
Tyson Jackson, local activist and organizer for People’s Advocacy Institute/Strong Arms of JXN strongly encourages members of the community and local businesses to continue to donate and says he is thankful to all of those that continue to give generously to support those in need.
Dr. Felicitas Koller, a transplant surgeon at UMMC and one of the organizers, says this coalition is also working on putting together COVID Care Packages, which contain basic hygiene items such as hand sanitizer, soap, paper towels, tissue, disinfectant and medical information from UMMC. “The reason why we are doing this is because we are concerned that people are not able to ‘STAY HOME’ if they are under-resourced,” Koller expressed in an email. She believes that all efforts should focus on making sure families have everything needed to quarantine effectively, without having to come out multiple times for necessities. “I want people to be ‘active,’ if even on a virtual level, in helping others. Part of saying we are all in it together is not just what you are asking others to do, but what you are doing FOR others.” Koller stands behind the quote from the New York Times during this pandemic: “This history reminds us that quarantines may be tools of medical authority, but their success and failure depends on human psychology informed by material needs.”
Citizens are invited to assist the coalition in whatever way they may be able.
To donate money, email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Donation.” Someone will contact you with sterile drop-off or pick-up locations. You can donate through Venmo at @ummcfoodfund or through PayPal at paypal.me/ummcandjacksonfoodfu. Make a tax-deductible online at giftumc.edu.
Those wishing to volunteer may email name and number to email@example.com with the subject “Volunteer.” Someone will contact you to get more information and set up a volunteer shift. Needed positions include food buyers and packagers, food delivery (must have a car) and dispatch callers that can work from home.
The coalition is a collaboration of People’s Advocacy Institute, City of Jackson, Jackson Meals Matter, MS Poor People’s Campaign, MS Prison Reform Coalition, Strong Arms of JXN, UMMC Surgery Department, Medical Student COVID Response Team, Association of Women Surgeons, Are You Hungry/Bilal’s Easy Kale, Capital Boys and Girls Club, Partnership for a Healthy MS, Cultivation Hall, Hal & Mal’s, Bad Boyz Tree Service, Operation Good, Working Together Jackson, Moms Demand Action, Sow-Reap-Feed, Ariella’s, UMMC students, professors and students from Jackson State and Tougaloo, the Jackson PTA council and other generous donors and volunteers.
For updates and more information, visit facebook.com/JacksonCOVIDResponse.