RIFA is leading and engaging the community in the fight against hunger.


A local, faith-based organization that has been part of the Jackson community since 1976.


To lead and engage the community in the fight against hunger. 


To reach out with the love of Christ to provide physical and spiritual nourishment.

Safe place

As much as we are all about fighting hunger, we are a safe place for people to find community and experience Christ.

Why we exist

Because 1 out of 5 people living in Jackson are unsure of where their next meal is coming from. 18.9% of people in Madison County live below the poverty level which is higher than the 15% US average. 

RIFA is where you can be the hands and feet of Christ in your own backyard.

Our History

Our History

RIFA has been serving Jackson since 1976

  • 1976 – RIFA was established with Rev. Gary Scheidt as the first Executive Director. The office was located in Jones Hall at the old Union University in downtown Jackson.
  • 1977-1978 – RIFA coordinated Food Fairs in the parking lot of the old West Jackson Baptist Church, which was the beginning of today’s Farmers Market.
  • 1992 – RIFA moved to the old Clean Linen building at 219 N. Highland Avenue.
  • 1996 – The RIFA Thrift Store opens.
  • 1996The local Community Soup Kitchen became one of RIFA’s ministries.
  • 2005 – Snack Backpack ministry started with one school and 25 children served.
  • 2005 – RIFA begins operating an independent Food Bank.
  • 2005 – First annual Canstruction fundraiser held at the Jackson Fairgrounds.
  • 2009 – Lisa Tillman becomes Executive Director of RIFA.
  • 2012 – Moved to the former Nando Jones building at 133 Airways Boulevard.
  • 2014 – Canstruction moved to the Civic Center on its 10th anniversary.
  • 2014 – RIFA was named the Jackson Chamber’s Nonprofit of the Year.
  • 2015 – RIFA graduates from the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence’s Program for Nonprofit Excellence (PNE).
  • 2016 – RIFA distributed 390,320 meals to the local community.


Our Staff

Lisa Tillman Executive Director ltillman@rifajackson.org
Shaun Powers Assistant Director spowers@rifajackson.org
Tina Hernandez Administrative Assistant thernandez@rifajackson.org
Hannah Robinson Community Outreach Coordinator hrobinson@rifajackson.org
Dorothy Bell Thrift Store Clerk dbell@rifajackson.org
Thomas Brown Warehouse Manager tbrown@rifajackson.org


Abby Bobo Accountant abobo@rifajackson.org
TJ Clanin Thrift Store Clerk info@rifajackson.org
Lindsay Dawkins Marketing and Events Coordinator ldawkins@rifajackson.org
Brandi Martin Warehouse Associate bmartin@rifajackson.org
Dawn Carlton Thrift Store Online Marketing Coordinator dcarlton@rifajackson.org
Margaret Merriweather Receptionist mmerriweather@rifajackson.org
Susan McFarland Soup Kitchen Manager smcfarmland@rifajackson.org
Jennifer Ortiz Weekend Soup Kitchen Manager jortiz@rifajackson.org
Mary Roebuck Receptionist mroebuck@rifajackson.org
Elaine Taylor Thrift Store Clerk etaylor@rifajackson.org
Cheryl Thomas Thrift Store Manager cthomas@rifajackson.org
Dan Ward Volunteer Coordinator dward@rifajackson.org

Our Board

Ryan Porter Board President Jackson Chamber
COO/General Counsel
Dr. Amy Elizer Vice President University of Tennessee Extension
Extension Agent & County Director
Carol Sue Keathley Treasurer Raymond James
Branch Manager & Managing Director
Aaron Cooper Secretary Jackson Energy Authority
HR Supervisor
Jason Bates Past President Toyota Bodine Aluminum
Administration Manager
James Allison Retired from Allison Insurance
Dan Brooks Retired Macy’s Volunteer
Jinny Culpepper BancorpSouth Mortgage
Mortgage Loan Officer
Cindy Daly Community Volunteer
Delita Johnson Crime Stoppers
Assistant Coordinator
Dr. Eric Jones Jackson Madison County School System Superintendent
Chester L. Sharp, Sr. First Tennessee Bank
Vice President
Wayne Smith Community Volunteer
Captain Derick Tisdale Division for the Jackson Police Department.
Scotty Wolfe Simmons Bank
Drew Yates First Bank
Branch Manager

Help us meet 80,000 Meals!

Donate Today!