• Santa Maria Urban Ministry



  • Meet our new

    Executive Director

    Our Executive Director, Kathy Córdova joined Santa Maria in January. We are very excited and feel blessed to have found the perfect fit!

    Please visit us and meet Kathy in person.



    Fiesta for the Future, our 35th Anniversary Celebration

    Saturday August 25



    Support our Back to School Backpack Program

    Monetary Donations, School Supplies, Gift cards are needed

    through 7/13/2018- Distribution on 8/4/2018

    Contact Alfonso Mendez, Operations Manager alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org 


    We will need volunteer


    Just one fun-filled morning a week with our adorable 3 and 4 year olds!

    Please contact Kathy Córdova at k.cordova@santamariasj.org

    or give us a call at 408-292-3314 for more information.



    ABC Playtime preschoolers learn their

    ABCs and so much more!

    Mon-Thurs., 10am - noon.

    Teachers and helpers needed for fall.

    Come join the fun!

    Want to know what we do here?

    Watch our video.

    Learn how Santa Maria helps our clients. Every day in every way.


  • Fiesta for the Future

    Summer Fundraiser to Benefit Santa Maria

    35th Anniversary Celebration

    Food, Fun and Friends

    Join in Santa Maria's 35 year celebration of service to the downtown San Jose community and surrounding areas through basic services, including food, clothing and educational support.


    This event will help raise needed funds to help us continue our mission to improve lives. Buy your tickets now!



    Dinner provided by the popular Luna Mexican Kitchen

    Live and Silent Auction

    Music and More!


    This is a fun, festive, unique event, gathering so many supporters of Santa Maria, all with the common goal of helping low income families and individuals in San Jose.

    Luna Mexican Kitchen


    We are excited to work with Luna-  https://www.lunamexicankitchen.com/ Here is one review:  

    "Ever since it opened in June(2017), this hot Mexican eatery has had lines stretching down the Alameda for chef Julio Juarez’s creative, fresh Latin fare. You’ll feel as if you’re dining at your abuela’s table, and indeed, Juarez learned to cook with his grandmother and aunts. He translates those memories into tasty, beautifully plated dishes, made with organic ingredients." — The Mercury News


  • Clients Share!

    See how Santa Maria makes clients' lives better every day.

    We thank our clients for sharing their viewpoints about Santa Maria's transformative impact on their lives.

  • WHAT WE DO and WHY


    Santa Maria Urban Ministry provides our community with a safe,

    welcoming place for basic services that meet short-term needs,

    and educational and targeted services to promote permanent, uplifting transformation.



    Santa Maria strives to provide life-changing services for our downtown San Jose community,

    continually improving the lives of our client families by serving as a resource center

    for both immediate and transformative services.



    Located near downtown San Jose, Santa Maria serves the adjacent low-income neighborhoods.

    Most of our clients initially come to Santa Maria

    for our well-stocked Food Pantry services, and then become a part of our community

    through our educational programs and their own service here.



    Santa Maria is a small, nimble and close-knit community resource center.

    We know our clients by name; we know their children, their grandchildren.

    We have families with children attending college now

    who started school at our ABC Playtime Preschool 20 years ago.

    Our clients come back to us because they are a part of Santa Maria's very fabric.

    Many start as clients and then become volunteers here themselves.

    Clients receive food for their family and help us pack food boxes for neighboring families.

    Parents with children in our educational programs can be seen here daily cooking, organizing, cleaning and contributing to the lifeblood of Santa Maria. Long-lasting friendships form here.

    At Santa Maria, the personal touch lies at the very heart of all that we do.



    • We share a compassion for the under-served in San Jose

    • We want to improve the lives of our community members

    • We believe that the best way to uplift our community is to provide a safe,

    welcoming place of transformation that feels like a second home

    • We provide free educational programs because we believe that

    education is the key to transformation and better futures

    • We work closely with our community

    to provide the most valued programs and services

    • We aim to develop meaningful relationships within our community, every day



    Food Pantry

    Meeting Immediate Nutritional Needs

    Monday-Friday: 9:00am - 11:45am and

    Every 1st and 3rd Saturday: 9:00am - 11:45am


    SMUM's Food Pantry provides bi-monthly supplemental food for the downtown San Jose community. We serve low income individuals and families in these zip codes: 95110, 95112, 95117, 95125, 95126, 95128, 95131, 95132 and 95134.


    ABC Playtime

    Preschool 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.


    Studio - After School

    Homework Center

    Tutoring for up to 25 school children, ages 7-14

    Tuesday/Thursday 4:00pm - 5:30pm


    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 use the supervised computer lab, do crafts or play sports outside.


    ESL and Adult Learning 

    ESL Tutoring and special adult education classes

    ESL: Mon., Wed., & Friday: 10:00am - 11:30am

    For information on other classes, contact SMUM.


    ESL helps Spanish-speaking clients learn conversational English. Emphasis is on job skills, daily living and homework help for parents of school-age children. Classes are for beginning and intermediate English speakers.


    Teen Leadership Program (TLP)

    SMUM provides a safe place for teens to gather and learn leadership skills, perform community service and be mentored to pursue higher education.

    Contact SMUM for program information.


    Previous Teen Leadership programs have included college tours, gang prevention seminars, community clean-up days, car wash fundraisers and field trips.


    Clothes Closet 

    Regular SMUM clients may select items from our Clothes Closet.

    Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 11:45am and

    Every 1st and 3rd Saturday: 9:00am - 11:45am


    Clients who regularly receive food from the Food Pantry may also recieve items from the Clothes Closet twice a month. The Clothes Closet offers adult and children's clothing, accessories and shoes.


    VITA Tax Preparation Services

    Clients can get help with their taxes - for free!

    Saturdays only: 9:00am - 1:00pm

    During the tax season only.

    Contact SMUM for more information.


    Knowledgeable volunteers help clients prepare their taxes. Convenient evening hours at Santa Maria throughout the tax season.


    Come on by to sign up!

    Summer Camps for Youth and Teens

    Our camps keep kids safe and engaged all summer!

    Summer Camps:

    Studio Summer Camp for grades 1-5

    Teen Leadership Camp for teens

    Contact Alfonso Mendez: alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org for more information.


    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.)

  • Location/Hours:

    Santa Maria is open Monday - Friday,

    9:00 - 11:45am and

    Every First and Third Saturday:

    9:00am - 11:45am


    We are located near downtown San Jose:

    778 S. Almaden Ave., (cross street is Union)

    San Jose, CA 95110

    (408) 292-3314


    Visit today to see what we have to offer you!

    (or see how you can help!)

    SMUM is closed on these holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Good Friday, the Saturday before Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving weekend - including Wed-Sat, and Christmas Eve through the first Monday after Christmas.


    Volunteer and Giving Opportunities

    Help by Volunteering or Donating!

    Here's how you can help - today!


    Volunteers are needed for all educational programs and our Food Pantry. Donations of food and clothing are always welcome. Santa Maria Urban Ministry is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 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 for our clothes closet (especially men's and /baby clothes)
    - canned foods, especially protein-rich foods like peanut butter and tuna
    - fresh fruits and vegetables (from your garden, perhaps?)
    - school and craft supplies


    Volunteers are always needed for:
    - Studio After School Homework Center (Mon/Tues/Thur,

    4:00 - 5:30 pm September thru May)
    - ABC Playtime preschool program (Mon - Thur, 10am - noon)
    - Food Pantry support (organizing, loading food boxes, etc.)

    - Front Desk client check - in (training provided)


    Spanish-speaking is NOT a requirement for any of these volunteer opportunities. For further information about becoming a friend of SMUM, contact:

    Kathy Cordova, Executive Director, k.cordova@santamariasj.org

    At Santa Maria, we love and

    appreciate our wonderful donors!


    Special thanks to the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real for it's founding of Santa Maria as a Diocesan ministry in 1983, and its continual support ever since.


    Special thanks to St. Jude's, Cupertino, CA


    for its tremendous, game-changing financial support and to its many supportive parishioners who give time, talent and treasure to Santa Maria on a regular basis.


    Special thanks to Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church, Saratoga, CA http://www.st-andrews-saratoga.org

    for its long-term generous support of SMUM.


    And huge thanks to St. Timothy's, Los Altos for its active and enthusiastic support and fundraising efforts on our behalf. http://www.sttims.org


    To our newest and extremely benevolent supporter,

    The Valley Foundation www.valley.org, we extend heartfelt thanks! Your generosity will make BIG NEW THINGS possible for us!


    Special thanks to the Wu Family Foundation and the Leonard Foundation for steadfast support of Santa Maria throughout the years. And we welcome and thank the Smith Family Foundation for their generous support.


    Great thanks to these supportive friends of Santa Maria who have provided funds through grant opportunities:

    - Santa Clara County Realtors Foundation

    - AAUW; American Association of University Women,

    San Jose Chapter

    - City of San Jose, Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force

    - Maria Kip Orphanage Foundation

    - Silicon Valley Community Foundation

    - Health Trust


    Many thanks to all the Episcopal and other churches, friends, volunteers, corporations and agencies who support Santa Maria and our mission.


    Thanks to all who contributed via our SV Gives site:




    Special THANKS to JP Graphics, Santa Clara:

    www.jp-graphics.com for our beautiful new logo!





    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!




    A Safe Place of Welcome, Service and

    Uplifting Transformation

    Santa Maria Urban Ministry is a 501(c)(3).

    Our tax ID number is: 91-1811780


    We accept in-kind donations of food, clothing and educational supplies. Monetary donations are greatly appreciated.
    Online donating via PAYPAL is available below.



    Make your dollars work to help others.


    Your generous contribution to Santa Maria Urban Ministry is tax-deductible. Rest assured that your donation will go toward our efforts to help the underserved of downtown San Jose.

    Our tax ID number is: 91-1811780



    Our History

    Santa Maria Urban Ministry was founded in 1983 to provide emergency food to the hungry residents of downtown San Jose, California. An outreach ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real,

    Santa Maria has featured a

    food pantry for 35 years and offers educational and targeted programs to promote permanent,

    uplifting transformation.

    Our Mission

    Santa Maria Urban Ministry's mission is to provide our community with a safe, welcoming place for basic services that meet short-term needs and to promote permanent, uplifting transformation for client families through education, service and targeted programs.


    Meet our Executive Director,

    Kathy Córdova


    Ms. Córdova, born and raised in San Jose and an SJSU graduate, brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and heart to the job of Executive Director.

    Kathy will continue to develop an even greater vision for the future of Santa Maria and its unique community-based approach to uplifting the underserved in San Jose. She will help Santa Maria strategize about new ways to address the needs of low-income families

    and ease hunger and poverty.


    Meet our Operations Manager,

    Alfonso Mendez


    As Operations Manager, 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 came to the Ministry in 2001 as a volunteer, first working in the warehouse and then becoming a front desk volunteer. He joined us as an employee in 2010.

    He is dedicated to both improving the lives of our clients and providing fulfilling

    volunteer opportunities at Santa Maria.


    Our Board of Directors:

    Santa Maria Urban Ministry is grateful for the work of its Board of Directors. The Board has developed a Strategic Plan and is working toward accomplishing its many goals.


    The Rev. George McDonnell , Convener

    Joanna Shreve, Treasurer

    Laura Bravo

    Bruce Friesen

    Howard Hill

    George Jewett

    Stephanie Palmer

    Kenneth Rousseau

    Carl Thomas

    Peter Troop


    Find Out More Today!



    (408) 292-3314


    execdirsmum@gmail.com or 19smum83@gmail.com








    Santa Maria Urban Ministry