As an Essential Business our food pantry is open daily.
We are taking care, require social distancing,
but our work and your support for Santa Maria
are more important than ever.
Santa Maria's History
We know our clients by name; we know their children and their grandchildren. We now have families with children attending college.
Santa Maria Urban Ministry was founded in 1983 to provide emergency food to impoverished families in downtown San Jose, California. Santa Maria has provided a food pantry continuously for 37 years.
Since our beginnings, we have listened to the community needs and started many new services that not only address immediate necessities but to also empower families and individuals to transform their circumstances. Our ABC Playtime preschool was established over 20 years ago and has become a key service ingrained in the heart of Santa Maria. More recently, to address the increasing numbers of homeless persons, our Warm Hearts Initiative provides unhoused members of our community with bagged lunches, hygiene kits and in the winter sleeping bags and other resources. An outreach ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real Santa Maria welcomes people of all faiths or none and does not discriminate on any basis.
The mission of Santa Maria Urban Ministry is to feed the body, mind, and spirit of the individuals in our community by providing them with food and other basic services, educational programs for all ages, and opportunities to give back through volunteer service.
Our Core Values
Dignity and respect for all people
Compassion for the under-served
Empowerment of community members to alleviate the impact of poverty
Catalyzing uplifting transformation of the community via a safe, welcoming place with relevant programs
Education as the key to transformation and better futures
Collaboration with our community to provide valued services
Building meaningful relationships with community members
If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns please contact:
Call Santa Maria Urban Ministry at (408) 292-3314
Monday-Friday 9 am- 5 pm
Location & Hours
Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 11:45 am
& every First and Third Saturday of the month 9:00 am - 11:45 am
Location: On the corner of Union and Almaden, near downtown SJ
778 South Almaden Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2919
In order to receive services from Santa Maria, come in Monday-Friday from 9:00 -11:45 am, and let us know that you are a new client - we will help you register!
Zip Codes We Serve
95110 • 95128
95112 • 95131
95117 • 95132
95125 • 95134
95126 • 95192 (SJSU)
What to Bring for your First Visit
Current Photo ID (Adults)
Birth Certificate (Children)*
Proof of Address (ex: PG&E bill, phone bill, piece of mail)
*In order to register dependents, you must be their parent or legal guardian
Need help with taxes? Come for our FREE VITA tax prep services. (see below)
VITA Tax Preparation Services
Clients can get help with their taxes - for free!
Saturdays only: 9:00am - 12:30pm
During the tax season only. February-April
Contact Santa Maria for more information.
Knowledgeable, IRS-trained volunteers help clients prepare their taxes at Santa Maria throughout the tax season.
Come on by to sign up!
Food Pantry & Farmer's Market
Meeting Immediate Nutritional Needs
Monday-Friday & every First and Third Saturday: 9:00am - 11:45am
Santa Maria's Food Pantry provides bi-monthly food for neighbors in need from 10 zip codes in San Jose. We also have a Farmer's Market-style display of fresh fruits and vegetables available every day we are open.
Santa Maria clients may select items from our Clothes Closet.
Monday- Friday & Every 1st and 3rd Saturday: 9:00am - 11:45am
Clients who regularly receive food from the Food Pantry may also receive items from the Clothes Closet twice a month. The Clothes Closet offers adult and children's clothing, accessories and shoes.
Studio - Our After School
Tutoring for up to 25 school children, ages 7-13
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Studio gives students in grades 1 - 8 homework help and tutoring. Students work one-on-one with volunteer tutors to complete homework assignments and work on proficiency in needed subjects. After homework is completed, students may play games.
Fun and learning for children, ages 3-5
Monday-Thursday 10:00am - 12:00pm
Program runs September - May
ABC Playtime provides children ages 3-5 with pre-Kindergarten preparedness. ABC is a no-fee, play-based program that teaches ABCs, colors, numbers, shapes and proper classroom behavior. Teachers and aides are all volunteers. Children must be 3 years old by September and potty-trained. Class is limited to 12 children.
Adult Learning Classes
English as a Second Language (ESL)
& Basic Life Skills Class
Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am - 12:00 am
For information on classes, contact email@example.com
or give us a call at 408-292-3314
Basic Life Skills/Intermediate ESL lessons include vocabulary, concepts and authentic task-based activities related to daily survival skills and civic operations such as public transportation, US medical systems, and banking. This class helps students adapt further, with additional confidence, to a new cultural environment.
Beginning ESL helps Spanish-speaking clients learn conversational English. Emphasis is on job skills, daily living and homework help for parents of school-age children.
Teen Leadership Program (TLP)
Santa Maria provides a safe place for teens to gather and learn leadership skills, perform community service and be mentored to pursue higher education.
Our summer TLP 2019 has concluded with students enjoying recreation, informational speakers, community service, and field trips.
We are currently looking at continuing the program during the academic year.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for program information.
Youth Summer Camps
Our camps keep kids safe and engaged all summer!
Summer Camps for:
Elementary students grades 1st through 4th
For information on camp, contact email@example.com
or give us a call at 408-292-3314
FREE 6-week camps every summer keep our community's kids safe, learning and engaged. Weekly field trips enhance the camp experience. (More photos in photo gallery.)
Warm Hearts Initiative
Helping the Unhoused
Recognizing the housing crisis and the increasing numbers of people living on the streets, this year we have enhanced our outreach and services to homeless individuals, with hygiene kits, daily bag lunches, and fresh fruit and vegetables. During the winter season, we also provide coats, blankets, sleeping bags, and other resources.
Board of Directors
Our Dedicated Board
Santa Maria Urban Ministry is grateful for the work of its Board of Directors.
The Board is currently dedicated to accomplishing the many goals they have set for Santa Maria. Our current Board Members include:
Bruce Friesen, Chairperson
The Rev. George McDonnell
We are actively seeking volunteers committed to our mission to join our board. Please contact us for more information.
Meet Our Staff
Alfonso Mendez, Programs Manager
Alfonso came to the Ministry in 2001 as a volunteer, first working in the warehouse food pantry and then becoming a front desk volunteer. He joined us as an employee in 2010.
Alfonso is involved in the daily managing of all the programs at Santa Maria - Food Pantry, Clothes Closet, and educational programs. He also trains and supervises our many dedicated volunteers. Alfonso is dedicated to both improving the lives of our clients and providing fulfilling volunteer opportunities at Santa Maria.
Warehouse Assistant (Part-Time)
Front Desk Coordinator
Volunteer and Giving Opportunities
Volunteers are always needed for:
Studio After School Homework Center
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 3:00 pm-4:30 pm
ABC Playtime Preschool Program
- Monday-Thursday from 10 am- noon
Food Pantry Support
Organizing, distributing, loading food boxes, etc.
- Monday-Fridays from 9:00 am- 11:45 am
Spanish-speaking is NOT a requirement for any of these volunteer opportunities.
For more information about becoming a volunteer contact,
or give us a call at 408-292-3314
At Santa Maria, we love
and appreciate our
Donations of food and clothing are always welcome. Monetary donations for operations and programs allow Santa Maria to continue its good work for the underserved in our downtown San Jose community.
Donations are gratefully accepted:
Monday - Fridays, 9:00-11:30 am
1st and 3rd Saturdays 9:00am - 11:30am
or by Appointment
Here's what our clients always need and appreciate:
- Clothing and Shoes (especially men's and baby clothes)
- Socks and Hygiene items
- Canned foods (especially protein-rich foods like peanut butter and tuna)
- Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (from your garden, perhaps?)
-School and Craft supplies
We greatly appreciate the generosity of all of our donors. You keep our doors open, our clients fed, our children happy and better educated, our adult students fulfilled...and our many volunteers fully engaged too!