Joint Neighborhood Ministry began in 1966 as the outreach arm of two south Saint Louis city churches, Epiphany United Church of Christ (formerly Ebenezer UCC) and Curby Memorial Presbyterian. The Ministry initially started as a social vehicle for area seniors and youth. In the early 1970’s, the Benton Park neighborhood experienced a downward spiral and began to take on a much different look. Homeowners were making a slow, but deliberate, migration to the suburbs—the aftermath of this migration was poverty.
As time progressed, and poverty became firmly rooted, more and more residents besieged the churches asking for emergency food and financial assistance to help keep their families intact. Recognizing these hardships, Joint Neighborhood Ministry began its Food Pantry and Family Advocate programs to respond to the overwhelming needs of this poverty-laden community.
In 1986 Joint Neighborhood Ministry formally incorporated and received federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status as a not-for-profit. Throughout, JNM has developed into, and remains as a significant stabilizing asset, positively affecting hundreds of families in Benton Park, Benton Park West and Gravois Park.
Recently, the programs at Joint Neighborhood Ministry have evolved to again better meet the needs of the community. As result, there has been additions of Full Circle/Rep Payee Program and Community Health Nurse Program and a Health Clinic throug the Institute of Family Medicine. The Food Pantry changed in response to growing health concerns in the area. JNM works hard to integrate more fresh produce, leaner meats, and low fat/no salt items.