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
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)
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
We are actively seeking volunteers committed to our mission to join our board. Please contact us for more information.
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,
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!