• Santa Maria is a saving grace neighborhood resource as we help those facing challenges of insecurity in their lives.


    Our food pantry and clothes closet are staffed with volunteers and open daily.


    Our work and your support for Santa Maria

    are more important than ever.

  • About Us

    Read Santa Maria's most recent Canticle - food and help with immediate needs


    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 38 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. To address the increasing numbers of homeless, 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.

    Our Mission

    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




  • Contact Us

    If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns please contact:

    Alfonso Mendez, programs manager

    Email: alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org


    Call Santa Maria Urban Ministry at (408) 292-3314


    Location & Hours

    Food Pantry 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 Street and Almaden Ave.
    South of 280 and downtown San Jose
    778 South Almaden Avenue
    San Jose, CA 95110-2919


    Donations of food or clothing are always welcome:

      Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm


  • Join Us

    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!


    We Serve all Residents of

    Santa Clara County

    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

  • News

    Our clothing closet is now open during food pantry hours.

  • Programs

    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 groceries for neighbors in need from 10 zip codes in San Jose. Produce is bagged fresh by volunteers. We pride ourselves of providing a balanced collection of protein, staples, vegtalbles and fruit.

    Clothes Closet

    Santa Maria clients may select items from our Clothes Closet.

    Santa Maria's Clothes Closet is open. To ensure COVID19 safety is maintained please we must limit visits to 10 minnutes. The Clothes Closet offers adult and children's clothing, accessories and shoes.


    During winter gracious donations all us to offer warm coats of all sizes.


    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 unhoused individuals, with hygiene kits, daily bag lunches, and fresh fruit and vegetables.


    During the winter season, we also provide the unhoused with coats, blankets, sleeping bags, ponchos as well.


    VITA Tax Preparation Services

    Clients can get help with their taxes - for free!

    During the tax season only. February-April

    Saturdays only: 9:00am - 12:30pm

    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!

    Adult Learning Classes

    English as a Second Language (ESL) on Zoom

    For information on classes, contact alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org

    or give us a call at 408-292-3314


    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.

    Studio - Our After School

    Homework Center on Zoom

    Tutoring for up to 25 school children, ages 7-13

    Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 3:30pm - 5:00pm


    Studio after school mentoring gives students in grades 1 - 8 homework help and tutoring. As COVID continues to challenge our lives, Santa Maria’s has partnered with students from Santa Clara University’s Community Action Program to adapt Studio to Zoom.


    Contact alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org for program updates.

    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 program is currently paused because of COVID19. Later in 2021, with the prospect of COVID restrictions being lifted Santa Maria looks to restarting its Teen Leadership Program.

    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 alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org

    or give us a call at 408-292-3314


    Our program of six-week long summer camps is currently suspended due to COVID restrictions. Our objective is to keep our community's kids safe, learning and engaged. Weekly field trips enhance the camp experience.

  • 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

    Laura Bravo

    Mike Orlando

    Kenneth Rousseau

    Susan Stanat

    Peter Troop

    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.


    Email: alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org

  • Fernando


    Warehouse Assistant (Part-Time)



    Front Desk Coordinator


  • Get Involved

    Volunteer and Giving Opportunities


    Volunteers are always needed for:

    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,

    Alfonso Mendez, programs manager alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org

    or give us a call at 408-292-3314

    At Santa Maria, we love

    and appreciate our

    wonderful donors!

    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, 9:00-2:00 pm

    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!