Coronavirus Update

Updates 3.25.20

Bus Stop Cafe 

RIFA will continue to run the Bus Stop Cafe to eight locations while school is out. We have partnered with Southwest Human Resources to provide grab-and-go lunches from the Summer Feeding Program. The eight locations include Lincoln Courts, Royal Arms Apartments, Rolling Acres, Hartland Place Apartments, Allenton Heights, Park Ridge Apartment, Scottish Inn and Villages of Old Hickory. 

Food Pickups 

Food is an essential resource, so we will continue to do food pickups from our partner grocery stores and restaurants. 

Furniture Pickups 

During this time, we are suspending furniture pickups in a recommendation by the CDC. We will send out information when we will schedule pickups again. 

Warehouse Sale 

The RIFA Thrift Store Warehouse Sale scheduled for Saturday, April 4th is canceled. The next Warehouse Sale is scheduled for June 6th. 

Updates 3.19.20

We have reserved food boxes to give to our patrons who will not have access to the kitchen for the coming weeks. 

Bus Stop CafeThe Bus Stop Cafe will be providing Snack Backpacks to kids at eight locations throughout Jackson for the week of March 23-27. Below is the schedule. 

Monday, Wednesday & Friday

  • Lincoln Courts – 11:00 – 11:30
  • Royal Arms – 11:45am – 12:15pm
  • Rolling Acres Estates – 12:30 – 1:00pm
  • Hartland Place Apartments – 1:15 – 1:45pm

Tuesday and Thursday 

  • Allenton Heights – 11:00 – 11:30
  • Park Ridge Apartments – 11:45am – 12:15pm
  • Scottish Inn Motel – 12:30 – 1:00pm
  • Villages of Old Hickory – 1:15 – 1:45pm

How can people help? Sponsor a food box for $30 to provide to a Soup Kitchen patron during this time. Donate online at

Updates 3.18.20

Hours of Operation:

As of now, our Administrative Office, Thrift Store and Donation Drop-off will be operating on a normal schedule. We will monitor the situation and update hours if needed.

• Administrative Office is open Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm

• Thrift Store is open Monday-Saturday from 9am-5pm.

• Donation Drop-Off is open Monday-Saturday from 9am-4pm.

Bus Stop Cafe

The Bus Stop Cafe will deliver food next week while kids are out of school. We will continue to go to the four stops that we did during spring break ( Lincoln Courts, Royal Arms Apartments, Rolling Acres and Hartland Place Apartments) plus a few more. We are still finalizing the additional stops.

In regards to COVID-19, RIFA is continuing to closely monitor updates and developments, and we are following the guidance from the CDC, Tennessee Department of Health and the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department. This is a fluid situation and our understanding of this virus and its impact is changing by the hour. The health and safety of RIFA’s employees, volunteers, patrons and donors who visit our facility are of utmost importance and will remain a priority.

RIFA will implement a few changes to volunteers and food distribution as outlined below:


Volunteer group sizes will be limited to a maximum of 8 people. 

• Starting on  Saturday, March 21st, we will not be using volunteers in the Soup Kitchen.

• We will have additional hand sanitizing stations throughout our building for volunteers to use.  

• We are diligent in ensuring continued food safety practices are followed.

• We recommend taking the same precautions as you would during the flu season.

• Follow CDC recommendations 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

• We ask any volunteer that has been outside the country, on a cruise or interacted with anyone exposed to COVID-19 to not volunteer for at least 14 days. 

• We will regularly re-evaluate our new protocols as the local situation evolves.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of RIFA. Each and every day, volunteers make a significant impact on our community through their work at RIFA. In the coming days, weeks and months, we might need more volunteers than we usually do, but we want to take proactive steps. 

Soup Kitchen

• Starting Wednesday, March 18, RIFA will transition to serving food boxes instead of the daily breakfast and lunch and dinner twice a week served in the Soup Kitchen.

• Lunch will be served in to-go containers Wednesday – Friday (March 18 – 20).

• Beginning Tuesday, March 17, patrons can sign up for a food box. See Jeri or Marie for more details.

Food boxes will be distributed Thursday, March 19 – Friday, March 20.

• The Soup Kitchen will be closed starting Saturday, March 21 until further notice to avoid large numbers of people eating in close proximity in guidance with the CDC. 

• If a food box is needed after Friday, please go to the Administrative Office or call 731.427.7963.

The CDC states that older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The age and underlying health conditions that are considered a vulnerable population make up a large portion of our patrons in the Soup Kitchen. We are taking proactive measures to protect our patrons as we continue to serve them. 

Food for Kids

RIFA is currently providing Snack Backpack food items through the Bus Stop Cafe during JMCSS spring break (March 16-20). RIFA is delivering Snack Backpacks to four locations to include Lincoln Courts, Royal Arms Apartments, Rolling Acres and Hartland Place Apartments. 

We are in contact with the JMCSS to see how we can help them during the extra week that schools will be closed. There are still discussions on what this looks like, but we are certain that there will be food for kids during this extended time out of school.

How can you help?

Many people have asked what they can do to help during this time and below are a few ways:


  • Donate online at
  • $30 will provide a box of food for 1 week

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Food box prep – Monday, March 23 from 9am-12pm | 2-4 people
  • Pack food boxes – Tuesday, March 24 from 10am-12pm | 8 people
  • Pack food bags – Week of March 23rd |  2-6 people 
  • Pack Snack Backpacks –  March 31st  | 8 people 
  • Cutting up Bible verses – Ongoing | 2 people
  • Helping in Thrift Store to hang clothing, etc. – Ongoing | 2-4 people

If you would like to volunteer for any of the projects above, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Dan Ward at 731.427.7963 or Please refer to our guidelines as mentioned above. Please follow us on social media to stay up-to-date.

Back to News

Help us meet 80,000 Meals!

Donate Today!