Ecumenical Hunger Program

Rating: 5 stars   22 reviews

Issues: Food, Human Services

Location: 2411 Pulgas Avenue East Palo Alto CA 94303 USA

Mission: EHP’s mission is to work with families to eliminate their hunger and to break the cycle of poverty.  By providing its programs with compassion and respect, EHP promotes the personal dignity of those it serves and encourages self-reliance.
Geographic areas served: Northern California
Programs: EHP Programs Include: Emergency Food Assistance EHP provides boxes of food to meet basic nutritional needs of families, as well as to individuals experiencing temporary emergency needs or special circumstances, such as long-term illness. The food boxes are nutritionally balanced, containing protein, vegetables, grains, cereals, and canned goods. They are prepared with an understanding of the cultural and ethnic preferences of each family. Monday Night Meal Program EHP, along with the St. Vincent De Paul Society, prepares and serves hot meals to needy individuals and families every Monday night at St. Francis of Assisi Church in East Palo Alto. Some of those served are homeless, while others are families with children who take advantage of this program to conserve the limited funds they have. Personal Support Many clients come to EHP with multiple needs that require personal, ongoing support as they wrestle with the crises that have led to their poverty and hunger. As these needs have become more complex, EHP has implemented a case management program, which allows EHP?s staff to assist clients in addressing and prioritizing these problems in-depth, providing both the immediate and the long-term assistance essential for a family?s success. This is a crucial element in the transition of client families from dependence on assistance to self-reliance. Furniture, Clothing, and Household Essentials EHP distributes clothing, furniture, appliances, and household essentials, such as blankets, sheets, and dishes. Annually, over 4,000 visits are made, and 10,000 clients served, by EHP?s ?Clothes Closet.? All goods are donations from the community. This program matches the donated resources of the donors to the needs of the clients in an act of kindness and goodwill. The most common furniture requests are for beds and refrigerators. EHP also receives and distributes sofas, stoves, baby furniture, tables, and the like. EHP assists an average of 100 families each month with furniture or large appliances. At any given time there are 150-200 families on a waiting list for essential goods and basic living needs. Client Advocacy Information and referral assistance are provided to clients seeking housing, financial assistance for basic needs (e.g., PG&E), health care, child-care, employment, language skills, and other social services. EHP works with other agencies in the community to facilitate access to critical resources. Children?s Resource Center (CRC) Programs ? Back to School ? Holiday Happiness ? Crisis Referrals ? Celebrating Success ? Academic Mentoring ? Health and Enrichment

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP)is a community based organization, independent of church or government affiliation. EHP is trying to help families and individuals break the cycle of poverty by providing food, clothing, furniture, nutrition education, access to technology, and emotional support to clients. This organization fills a need in the community. All participants are treated with dignity and compassion. I have been a volunteer for many years and am now a board member of EHP.i am continually impressed by how hard the staff and volunteers work to make EHP a place that really makes a difference in people's lives.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Giving a bag of food to a family that will not have dinner without that bag makes a big difference both to the recipient of the bag, and the person giving the bag. All clients are treated with dignity and concern for their well-being.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

EHP provides direct help to those in need, whether it be temporary or ongoing. All participants are treated with dignity and the help received is immediate and offered without judgement. I have given boxes of food to families who would have had no dinner if not for EHP. The relief and gratitude in the faces of mothers receiving food for their families tell the story loud and clear.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have delivered food to elderly shut-ins and know how much it means to them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire more people to enable them to offer more services

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

7/17/2012: I stopped by Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto to ask about potential volunteer opportunities for groups. They had an information sheet detailing different options, but they also needed help right now. They were preparing for their monthly food distribution, and needed help splitting the pallets of groceries into boxes for the 80-100 families that would be showing up in a little bit more than an hour. I offered to stick around, and was soon at work packing boxes: 2 large cans of pear halves, 3 smaller ones of peaches, 2 packs of tortillas, 4 smaller cans of apple sauce, 2 pound bags each of rice and pinto beans, a 64-oz bottle of spiced cranberry juice, a half-gallon of milk, a 2 pound bag of pre-washed salad, a watermelon and a cantaloupe. Other groups were packing meats (not sure of all that went into it, but looked to be a dozen eggs, a one-pound pack of hot dogs, a one-pound tube of ground sausage, and 2 1-pound packs of cold cuts (baloney or ham). A third group was packing fruits and vegetables. This being summer in California, there was a nice selection of nectarines, oranges, broccoli, corn, onions and probably more that I didn’t see.

At 5 PM, not only was the distribution done, but the area had been restored to its prior, clean state. Empty boxes were gone. The leftovers were in the food pantry. The tables were taken down and stored, and the parking lot had been swept. It was a remarkable display of efficiency, taking the volunteer efforts of probably a dozen people, some of us first-timers, and getting a large task done in a short time. Staff members Suliana and Jackie deserve credit for getting us all together to get everything done. Overall, a very positive experience.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I love volunteering at EHP. They do such wonderful things for the community. I have volunteered in lots of different areas at EHP, however I feel most connected when I pack food box for families.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Ecumenical Hunger Program is a wonderful agency, willing to help anyone in need. The staff gives friendly service and is very compassionate.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When I came in for help with food for the first time.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with EHP for almost 10 years, and continue to be impressed and amazed by their support of individuals and families in need in the San Francisco peninsula area. As the dismal economy has pushed more and more people into poverty, according to national statistics, EHP has been there for all those who walk through their doors in need of food, clothing, furniture and household items. The wonderful staff and volunteers have met this significantly increased demand, while also introducing important new services such as a women's support group, nutrition counseling, children's programs, and personal counseling. The Ecumenical Hunger Program is truly a life-affirming organization, for those it serves and for those who help to provide the services.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization by seeing the smiles on the faces of men, women, and children who come to EHP's large and well-tended campus during difficult times in their lives, and are treated with dignity and caring.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would like to see them able to pay off the mortgage on their facilities so that the money could be used for even more direct services.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP) is a life-affirming non-profit that has operated continuously for 37 years in East Palo Alto, assisting families and individuals in need in Silicon Valley. EHP provides tangible support in the form of food, clothing, furniture, and household goods. EHP also offers children's programs, nutrition counseling, women's support groups, and other intangible support. Along with staff and hundreds of volunteers every month, I share in the satisfaction of helping people surmount the economic hardships that can otherwise be crippling. Everyone at EHP works together to put smiles on the faces of women, men, and children.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

A pregnant mother who speaks only Spanish comes to the clothes closet. Using my elementary knowledge of Spanish we communicate with words, gestures, and laughter. She leaves with nice, almost new clothes for her 2 growing toddlers and the baby soon to be born. The smile on her face expresses the heartfelt thanks she feels.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I believe EHP should keep concentrating on the vital core services that it provides so well. But they might be able to leverage their site and facilities to support one or two new services if they are found to be important to the client community.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

After years of knowing about EHP through friends who were volunteers & donors, I joined the board six years ago. Each year I have become more and more impressed with the energetic, caring support and broad-based services this organization provides to thousands of people each year, mostly in families, and most with at least one wage earner in the family. It is almost impossible to make ends meet at the low end of the wage scale in Silicon Valley (or worse yet, if a job has been lost) but EHP always holds out a helping hand and makes the difference between despair and hope. I am overwhelmed and gratified by the generous donors who sustain EHP, many by small donations, year after year.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching the smiling faces as parents receive Xmas gifts for their children that they could otherwise not afford. Seeing the relief when a Spanish-speaking mother gets to "shop" for children's clothes and explain what she needs. Knowing the importance of a weekly food box or a special distribution of fresh produce to a struggling family.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find ways to let even more people in Silicon Valley know what an amazing job EHP is doing!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with the Ecumenical Hungar Program, (EHP), have been as donor for 11 years & 9 years as their bookkeeper. What I have seen over the years is a caring and supportive program to help clients in their most dire times. Food, clothing, furniture is given to help the clients. Financial assistance for various utilities bills, partial rent pd, or money for gas, all given to clients, but only one time. In return I have seen clients turn their lives around, pull themselves up and no longer need assistance. There is now a summer program for children, Wednesday Nite Meals, Women's Support Groups besides their Holiday Program for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I cannot say enough about EHP and it's programs. This is a 100% donor driven nonprofit, which is why since 2008 to current, EHP has still able to help the community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By being involved with EHP on a weekly basis. All donations whether the food, clothing, furniture, or monetary donations are used most diligently, Every donation is given thought for their clients.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the children's program to after school, have a girls scout and/or boy scout troops.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first learned of the Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP) when its founder came to speak at my church. Her description of the work being done and the serious need being addressed by the group led to my first making donations, then working as a volunteer, and finally joining the Board where I currently serve as Treasurer. EHP makes an enormous difference in the lives of families having difficulty - the donations of food, clothing and furnishings keep children from hunger and families from homelessness.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Serving as a volunteer, I have seen hungry families provided with food during crisis periods. I have seen the working poor provided with clothing to aid in seeking better jobs. I have seen families provided with essential household items for cooking, as well as basic furnishings.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide them with more resources - EHP does amazing things with a tiny (less than 15%) overhead.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer, board member and donor of the Ecumenical Hunger Program for over 20 years. I have seen countless families helped, single women encouraged and so very many lives changed positively that I think the organization could be a model for the country. I know children whose mothers were clients who now have graduated from college and have positive lives and are role models for the community. I have also volunteered in many ways but seeing the Holiday distribution and how it boosts the spirits of families in need is always the best.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Go back on the board and find out what the real needs are.

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Rating: 5 stars  

As an EHP volunteer, I have seen families receive boxes of food when they really needed it, clothing for parents to go a job interview, jackets for children when it was cold and gifts for children at Christmas.
I have delivered boxes of food to senior citizens who had no transportation or money for food.
Also, I have seen women receive counseling and support for the first time in their lives. What a difference that has made in the lives of their families!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing women gain confidence

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Enable them to hire more counselors

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Rating: 5 stars  

I started volunteering in the Clothes Closet at EHP after retiring from teaching two years ago. I thought I would really miss my job since it had been so fulfilling, but EHP has made me "worn out with happiness". I work harder than I ever did at school and I just love it. The Closet provides donated and in good condition, clothing, linens, and kitchen items to people in need. Our clients are people from a variety of cultures, ages, and circumstances in the community. An African American woman can find a suitable suit for a job interview, or a retired couple can get blankets and sheets. A young Latino mother can pick out coats for her children, or a Pacific Islander can get pots and pans. A just released from prison white man can get boots and socks, and my favorite, elderly women, can look for new outfits for church. The staff is the hardest working group of people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Everybody seems to be doing at least two projects at the same time, while being friendly, kind , helpful and caring to the clients and to the volunteers. So I say - Volunteer and improve YOUR quality of life!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

A mother came in looking for a nice pair of pants and a dress shirt for her 18 yr old son who was going on a job interview. We had a great time matching two sets of extra nice quality pants/shirts with shoes and sweaters. He was going to look really spiffy. He got the job she told me later.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get a larger building.

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