Collaboration is Key: Crossroads Communites
Mar 11, 2020 11:45 AM
Jay Cole
Collaboration is Key: Crossroads Communites

John ‘Jay’ W. Cole III was born in Dallas and received his Bachelor of Arts with an economics major and a math minor from the University of Texas, Austin. He earned the Master of Divinity degree and Certificate of Specialization in Urban Ministry from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, as well as the B’nai B’rith Award for academic excellence in ethical studies and his social justice work in southern Dallas. Jay was an Associate Minister of Urban Ministry at First United Methodist Church, Dallas for 15 years until Crossroads became an independent 501(c)(3) corporation in 2015. Jay has been the Executive Director of Crossroads since 2003.
In 2006, Crossroads began creating a model where a network of churches, places of worship, low- income retirement and community centers, Dallas Housing Authority sites, and other non- profits/agencies can provide substantial amounts of nutritious food to their neighbors without becoming a full-fledged food pantry—they are Crossroads’ Community Distribution Partners or CDPs. Under Jay’s leadership, Crossroads created the first computerized system in the US that helps people select the appropriate amount and kinds of food based upon each person’s age, gender, and activity level, following the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Crossroads Community Services' mission is to nourish our community's low-income families by providing nutritious food and supportive education.  By distributing substantial amounts of wholesome food, Crossroads strives to meet the basic food needs of clients, supplement their incomes and collect research worthy data for academic and medical partners who analyze it to better understand the broader impact of food insecurity and food assistance on the well-being of low-income populations. As an example of relevant data, we were the first NTFB agency to capture height and weight, due to the challenge of coexisting food insecurity and rising obesity rates among clients.
In 2019, our dedicated Community Distribution Partners distributed 5.5 million pounds of groceries to 26,707 individuals throughout Dallas, Ellis and Navarro Counties—enough food to prepare 4.58 million wholesome meals and save clients $11,000,000 at the store.  In 2020, it may be 7,200,000 Lbs.