• Welcome to Santa Maria Urban Ministry!



  • Check Out Our New Produce Stand

    Choose free fresh fruits and vegetables on your next visit!

    At our produce stand we have a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available every day! Feel free to browse and take whatever you'd like. The stand is open Monday-Friday, and first and third Saturdays from 9:00-11:45 am.


  • About Us

    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 36 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.

    Our Mission

    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.

    Our Values

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

  • Contact Us

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


    Executive Director

    Contact: Kathy Córdova

    Email: k.cordova@santamariasj.org


    Program Manager

    Contact: Alfonso Mendez

    Email: alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org


    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



  • 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!

    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

  • News

    Interested in what we have going on? See below for details.

    Early Childhood Teachers and Aides Needed

    Come join the fun this fall!

    Join our wonderful teams of teaching volunteers at our ABC Playtime Program, for one fun-filled morning a week with our adorable 3 and 5-year-olds! Program is Monday through Thursday mornings, a 3-hour commitment.


    For more information, please contact Alfonso Mendez at alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org


    Backpack and School Supplies Distribution

    This year we provided back-to-school supplies to over 300 students grades K-12! With generous donations from many organizations and individuals and tireless help from our volunteers, students received a backpack of school supplies according to their grade, so that they can have a successful start to the school year!

  • Programs

    Food Pantry

    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.

    Clothes Closet

    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

    Homework Center

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

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


    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.


    ABC Playtime

    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 alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org

    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 alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.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 alfonso.mendez@santamariasj.org

    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.


    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!

  • 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

    Irma Flores-Mendoza

    Kenneth Rousseau

    Peter Troop

    Patti Wilczek

    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

    Kathy Córdova, Executive Director


    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 continues 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 helps the organization strategize about new ways to address the needs of low-income families and ease hunger and poverty.


    Email: k.cordova@santamariasj.org

    Alfonso Mendez, Program Manager


    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.


    As Program 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. He 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 of any age are always needed for:

    Studio After School Homework Center​ (September-May)

    - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 4:00 pm-5:00 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 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, 9:00-11:30 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)

    - Diapers

    - 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!