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Jackson YMCA Expands COVID-19 Community Outreach

Meal, emergency needs distribution reaches hundreds of kids, adults daily

Jackson, MI – Although the doors of the Jackson YMCA are closed, a small group of staff has remained to handle essential duties including distributing meals and emergency personal needs items. The Y distributes items outdoors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays in the Franklin and Wesley street alley downtown; items are available free of charge to all who need them. Among the Y community outreach efforts:

  • The Jackson YMCA is participating in the Jackson COVID-19 Action Network (JCAN) as an emergency needs donation and distribution site.
  • In partnership with Jackson Public Schools, the Y is distributing approximately 2,100 meals per week to school-age children.
  • With financial support from our Jackson Y members and the United Way and Jackson Community Foundation’s COVID-19 relief fund, the YMCA is serving about 100 families per week with personal needs and nonperishable foods through the drive-through.
  • Through a collaboration with the Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County, the Y is serving approximately 100 nonperishable meals weekly to families.
  • To promote mental and physical wellness through programming, the Y is releasing free virtual exercise classes led by certified Jackson Y trainers to benefit those who lack access to safe outdoor spaces for physical activity or members who wish to see a familiar face; classes are available on the Y’s YouTube channel: Jackson, Michigan YMCA.

“Within days of closing, remaining Y staff and volunteers pivoted to expand services to meet the evolving needs of our community,” said Jackson YMCA CEO Shawna Tello. “Nutrition and exercise are essential to healthy spirit, mind and body. Jackson families can get food and personal items at the Y rather than making trips to multiple destinations. We are utilizing Jackson Y instructors to release videos for those who benefit from guided exercise and making calls to potentially vulnerable members. We want everyone in Jackson to know: We are here for you!”


For information about the Y call 517-782-0537, email or visit For JCAN visit