Soup kitchen 300x200 HistoryIn 1976, local churches and community leaders came together to discuss the growing poverty levels in Jackson, Tennessee. The common problem: each individual church and civic organization did not have the resources to effectively provide relief for those in need. To coordinate a united effort, they formed a separate agency to help: the Regional Inter-Faith Association (RIFA).

RIFA began with food drives in church parking lots and has since expanded to include a wide range of community services. The Soup Kitchen serves hot food to 150 people a day. The Thrift Store provides household items, clothing and furniture at affordable prices. The Snack Backpack Program feeds children who may not otherwise have meals outside of school. The Food Bank allows other nonprofit groups to provide for those in Madison County and seven surrounding counties.

In the fall of 2012, RIFA moved from its location on North Highland Avenue to new facilities at 133 Airways Boulevard. This new building is an updated and more efficient space to better serve those in need in Jackson-Madison County and seven surrounding counties.