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


Legon Roberson Community Outreach Coordinator lroberson@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 1@1


Lindsay Dawkins Marketing and Events Coordinator ldawkins@rifajackson.org


Felicia Ingram Communications Coordinator fingram@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


Rhonda Tenhet Donation Processor rtenhet@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
Jinny Ballard BancorpSouth Mortgage
Mortgage Loan Officer
Dan Brooks Retired from Macy’s
Scotty Wolfe Simmons Bank
Leland Burress III Jackson Sun
Sales Director
Delita Johnson Crime Stoppers
Assistant Coordinator
James Kirkland H & M Construction
Senior Project Manager
Jennifer Marcus Centennial Bank
Executive VP
Keli McAlister Jackson Madison County School System
Communications Coordinator
Dr. Lisa Piercey West TN Healthcare
VP, Physician Services
Randy Pierson Fellowship Bible Church
Executive Pastor
Rev. Ernest Polk St. James Missionary Baptist Church
Chester L. Sharp, Sr. First Tennessee Bank
Vice President
Lt. Derick Tisdale Jackson Police Department
Public Information Officer
Drew Yates First Bank
Branch Manager

Help us meet 80,000 Meals!

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