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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ecumenical Hunger Program

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Food, Food Programs, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

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

Community Stories

80 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EHP has been helpful in many aspects of my life. EHP has helped me with food, reaching out to other resources, and giving support. EHP is changing and helping lives daily.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"I come into a world of iron, to make it A world of Gold".
Dale Wasserman from Don Quixote Man of La Mancha

Let's start with staff… Hearts of Gold working overtime.
I have never seen anyone work so hard in my life!!!
The Ecumenical Hunger Program hums with the driven, dedicated, devoted staff and army of compassionate mindful volunteers doing what seems like the impossible dream.
They bring Hearts and minds, unique & beautiful souls together working for the greater good.
In this climate of division, apathy and willful ignorance...
EHP is A conduit of Grace, by treating the individual with true respect, warmth and generosity. They walk their talk and they continually solidly “Represent".
They are not perfect people, you can often see the tiredness and stress
but they are perfect for the community of humanity and to the overwhelming task that they have taken on, to bring relief, assistance and comfort into a realm that is overflowing with pain and despair.
There are no words to describe the gratitude I feel knowing that they are here fighting the good fight.
With sincerest wonder and gratitude,
May we all Walk in Balance and in Beauty.
All my Relations
Raven Littlewing


Donor

Rating: 5

I first experienced EHP as a volunteer, bagging groceries for Holiday meals. As I found out more about the organization and the many good things they do for individuals and families in our community, I wanted to do more. So I've given money and shared my professional expertise with this outstanding nonprofit in the hopes that it will thrive and grow over the next years as it has done since its inception in 1975.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former client I know first hand the help EHP has provided my family and I when I was most at need. Now as an employee it feels great to honestly offer and speak high volumes of the services we provide to families. Aside food assistance and basic daily living items such as toiletries we provide connections to other agencies that assist in funding for housing, social services, and legal aid. The holidays are the best time of the year as we help with Halloween costumes for the children, Thanksgiving distributions so our families have a home cooked meal, and our Christmas wish list where we assure each child receives a gift they'd treasure for a lifetime. EHP has done more than offer materialistic things, but has provided a feeling of security when others feel there's nowhere to turn to. EHP is home..

Volunteer

Rating: 5

EHP is an amazing organization that provides material assistance and support services to families and individuals facing financial hardship. EHP offers emergency food boxes, clothing, furniture, and household supplies as well as many programs throughout the year to help people who are struggling to make ends meet. These include holiday gift giving and family sharing, Make-A-Wish Birthday parties and a Back to School program. The staff is extremely compassionate and nonjudgmental. In operation for 44 years, EHP has turned around the lives of some of their former clients as evidenced by the return of these folks and their children who are now donors and volunteers at EHP. I've had the pleasure of talking to some of the people helped by EHP and they always mention their extreme gratitude not just for the material help received but for the caring support of the EHP team who helped them through their difficult time.

wendy

Board Member

Rating: 5

My family got involved with EHP in 1984, helping pack and deliver boxes of food at the Holidays. We now do this with our grandchildren. The values that EHP embodies and shares are values that I wish would spread over all of our society.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

EHP has been providing food, clothing, furniture and hope to the community since the 1970's. More people than ever are now being helped by the compassionate staff and volunteers. I have been involved with EHP for many years and truly love what EHP does.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with EHP for 20 years, as a volunteer in many parts of the organization and as a former board member. EHP has continued year after year, for over 40 years, to provide critically important support to individuals and families experiencing economic hardship in Silicon Valley. It's no surprise to anyone who knows this area that even extended families, living in one apartment, with two or more adults earning at or near the minimum wage cannot make ends meet. EHP's vital role is to provide a safety net -- food, clothing, household goods, furniture, children's programs, and referral services -- that keeps people from despair and homelessness. With a dedicated staff and hundreds of volunteers, everyone receives the support they need, and more importantly, their spirits are lifted because they are treated with respect, dignity, and always a warm smile.

Kurt T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of the ecumenical hunger program for over 20 years. Doing that time I've seen them help people change their lives. EHP is a fantastic resource for people in need. They are an important part of our community and worthy of our support.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Ecumenical Hunger Program has been helping those in need with food, clothing and household goods for 40 years. EHP accept donations at its campus as well as online and by scheduled pick ups. Located in East Palo Alto, EHP is dedicated to helping its neighbors in need. Join me in supporting this excellent program.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I continue believing in and being a part of Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP). After all these years my love for this program hasn't changed. EHP is an amazing program that helps many people in need.

Nevida-42

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I believe the greatest thing about Ecumenical Hunger Program is that we are able to touch the lives of numerous families (people).

EHP helps people in need food, clothing, furniture and in a variety of other ways!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of the EHP family for many years. It's an amazing program, helping those in need since 1975.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been involved with the Ecumenical Hunger Program, (EHP) since 2001. Over the years, I've heard stories from clients telling me how the programs and food boxes gave them the edge to sustain between paychecks. There is encouragement to keep their children in school. One person was a child when his family became involve with EHP. Today with his own family now, he told me, it was because of EHP my family made it. All my sibling
have graduated from college. Because of EHP's help, we all have succeeded.

EHP's campus is a place to come, to sign up for food boxes, the clothes closet, or household items. While on campus, you may see clients doing anything from picking up food boxes to sitting at the picnic tables while watching their children run on the grass. It's a very warm enviroment to refresh yourself.

A good portion of the work at EHP is done by volunteers. Volunteers are individual, families, groups from schools, scouting troops. Many volunteers are ex-clients wanting to help others as they were helped.

85% of the donations go to program. EHP is a donor driven organization. They do not apply for any government grants. All the clothes and household items are donated to EHP

It is hard to express the extent EHP has touched & helped so many lives in the last 45 years. It is a remarkable nonprofit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

EHP is a true blessing to the community! I have witnessed over the many years that I have been affiliated with this organization; the many wonderful things they have done for so many people. They are one in a million! From the wonderful staff and volunteers that assist the clientele, to the amazing clients and donors that you encounter daily... it's truly a great experience. I have never encountered an organization that goes above and beyond to help those in need. Not only do they provide a service to those, but they also provide support and friendship. They have continued to serve the community with food, clothing, furniture, resources and more! If you aren't involved, you're missing out. No greater joy than to see a family have their needs met, than seeing it in person, time and time again. Grateful for EHP filling the need of the community! THANK YOU!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with EHP (Ecumenical Hunger Program) for 15 years, as a donor, volunteer, and past board member. Whether it's handing out food, or helping people to select clothing for themselves or their children, or picking up much-needed furniture ... EHP staff and volunteers are always there to help, with a broad smile on their faces. Children whose families were given a lifeline by EHP many years ago come back to help others, sometimes two and three generations staying connected. EHP is a caring, critical source of support for people who are stretched to the breaking point by the punishing financial reality of Silicon Valley. It has been a privilege to play a small part in bettering the lives of thousands of adults and children in our community.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with EHP as a donor of goods and money, a volunteer and a past board member for over 15 years. EHP is an enormously positive force in East Palo Alto helping struggling families to make ends meet in a punishing local economy. The staff and volunteers (some of whom are former clients) always have a big smile for everyone who walks in the door, show respect, and help each person meet their immediate needs - for food, clothing, furniture, bedding, or more complex support services and referrals. For over 40 years, EHP has been a beacon of light for people in the East Palo Alto and east Menlo Park area who find themselves in need of emergency, or longer term, assistance.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first experienced the work that EHP does in the community by connecting with them through my church almost 30 years ago. When I came on site as a volunteer, I was impressed by the way EHP connected to the local community and really listened to the needs of the population they were serving. Although food insecurity is the number 1 issue that their services address, the case managers, staff, and volunteers work tirelessly to provide much more to the folks in the community through other services, coordination, and loving kindness. This is a great organization that continues to impress me with the way they have grown and continued to serve East Palo Alto and the surrounding cities. They deserve support and contributions from the community as they continue to work to support their neighbors in times of great need.

lakeshar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for EHP for over 5 years now and was a volunteer before then. The impact this organization has had on my life has been tremendous! With this organization, I have been able to meet people from all walks of life and lend a hand up. It reminds me daily that in this time where the cost of living has sky rocketed, most people are only a pay check away from being homeless. This organization really helps those who are in need to close that gap and to fulfill their most basic needs like clothing, dishes, soap, shampoo and conditioner, toilet paper and most of all FOOD!! As an employee here, we have the opportunity to make a difference in so many peoples' lives and that is why I can wake up in the morning and be excited to go to work each day; I never know whose life I may touch when I step on our campus!

Kay Drizzy E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ecumenical Hunger Program is an amazing organization. I have seen first hand the care and compassion the staff gives to those in need, always giving service with a smile. I have worked at the program on a temporary basis and volunteered - I was blessed to be a part of something so special - Thank you to EHP!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The face of poverty is changing and especially more so in our community. With the soaring cost of housing in the Bay Area, many working families and individuals, including teachers, caregivers, and service workers, make too much to qualify for government aid or subsidized housing and yet cannot afford to pay their basic living expenses without falling into debt or forgoing other needs such as medical or dental care. EHP helps to fill this gap by providing essentials such as fresh, nutritious food, clothing, shoes, household goods and furniture. EHP offers moral support, advocacy, and many children services that help their clients remain hopeful and resilient as they try to build a more secure future. What really makes EHP stand out is the respect and caring the staff shows to each and every person who comes seeking aid. They are non-judgmental and really care about what happens to their clients. As one person who used their services put it, "EHP is the only place that wouldn't let me fall through the cracks. They were there to pick me up when other agencies failed me."

Volunteer

Rating: 5

EHP delivers services with a smile and compassion. My experience volunteering at EHP has been eye-opening to the needs in our community. Thankfully EHP is there to help fill the needs of our neighbors.

Donor

Rating: 5

My family and I have been supporters of Ecumenical Hunger Program for over 25 years. EHP is an incredible organization on so many levels. First the level of compassion that they exhibit with each and every person they serve is remarkable. The variety of ways they support people and families in need is wonderful - food, clothing, furnishings. The incredibly supportive programs that work with families in need. Finally a staff that truly cares and works incredibly hard. I have worked with various non-profits all my life and EHP is truly an outstanding and effective organization making a positive difference in the lives of so many disadvantaged people.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ecumenical Hunger Program is a phenomenal organization. I've had the opportunity to speak with individuals who shared they are tremendously bless by the goods and services they receive from EHP. In addition to food boxes, the organization also provides furnisher, bedding, household essentials, and clothing for various occasions. EHP also host a monthly legal clinic. During the summer months free hot meals are available to the public Monday-Friday, and during the Fall season, twice a month. There are monthly and seasonal fun activities for children, along with other services at various times throughout the year.

EHP hard working staff and volunteers are committed to treating those we serve with compassion, respect and dignity. Situated in the heart of a community that have seen a rise in homelessness, struggling families, and individuals, EHP stands as a beacon of hope to East Palo Alto, and the surrounding communities.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Each day throughout all of the news media or even walking or driving down our local streets, we are reminded of how difficult the lack of affordable housing and the ever-increasing prices for everything has made it for families in need that are struggling to manage just the most basic needs. Most of us don't know what it is like to have to live outside, in a garage, in a car or out of a backpack or worry that there isn't enough food to feed our family on a daily basis. To suffer the anxiety of these concerns is made even more difficult for those that don't have a support system to turn to - no matter how hard they work! EHP is a support system and the "ray of hope" for many who feel hopeless. It is so gratifying to know that EHP is able to change "hopeless" into HOPE for families in our community by providing emergency food, gently used clothing, household essentials, furniture and hygiene items as well as offering special support programs and referrals free of charge to their clients. EHP provides these services as a "hand-up" as opposed to a "hand out" in a caring and compassionate way. Donations of gently used items are not sold or stored but distributed immediately to people who really need them. This is a great benefit to their clients but also to everyone in the community as donated items do not end up cluttering our earth by staying in landfills forever. To see someone go to EHP for services who feels alone and uncared for, receive much needed help and leave with a smile on their face and hope for the future is incredibly rewarding. By volunteering or donating gently used items or sharing a financial contribution, anyone can join EHP in changing lives for the better and can be part of "Neighbors helping Neighbors with Food and So Much More!" Once you become a donor or volunteer at EHP and witness the immediate impact that your contribution brings, I think that you will find that you are giving yourself a wonderful gift! Reach out to EHP and change someone's life for the better today!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a few days over the holidays helping in the food closet. Volunteers and staff members prepared many food boxes for families in the community for the holidays. Everyone worked
hard and efficiently with a sense of humor and much empathy for families in need.

Advisor

Rating: 5

As the Director of an emergency social service organization, I find myself constantly thinking of the issues EHP’s families face on a day to day basis, all the while struggling to find sustainable solutions for their problems. I worry about immediate and critical issues but I am also concerned about the future as I think of my own children and grandchildren. This is why EHP has focused so much on sustainability, not only for our families but also within our programs. We are teaching our children how to grow their own food, to be kind to the environment, to recycle everything that we cannot readily use and to be really thoughtful in the choices we make. We have changed our food program to allow individuals and families to choose what goes into their food boxes to reduce food waste. 75% of our campus is operated off of solar power. Clothing items that cannot be used, are recycled through a rags program. In essence, EHP is one big recycling program as over 95% of in-kind items donated, are distributed directly to families in need for secondary use.
It hit me as I began to write this letter that although EHP provides direct assistance to our neighbors in need within our own communities, we are also having a global impact. Although on a small scale, we are doing our best to care for our environment through sustainable operations while also promoting sustainable living among our families. This is only possible because of the generous support from our donor and volunteer community.
Thank you!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

A hand-up with integrity, confidentiality and respect is what Ecumenical Hunger Program model to those we serve. Staff and volunteers are courteous and always available to assist those in need. In addition to Food, EHP also provides clothing, furniture, household items, and monthly events such as Make-a-Birthday Wish for children whose family we serve, Ask-a-lawyer client, free weekly Wednesday Night meal at a local church, and more!
If you are in need of any of our good and services, please contact EHP today!


Donor

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is a little beacon of light for the community. The employees touch many people. Food is the main service. Other services and direction are given to help the clients on to living independently. No one is ever turned away. Most people live in the community, though some have had to move outside of the area, due to the increase in rent. But they are still served. For some clients it maybe as little as one box of food that helps them subsist month to month. Many times When someone hungry comes knocking at the door after hours, but management is still there, they will be given a box of food. The Ecumenical Hunger Program is a blessing to the community.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

The Ecumenical Hunger Program has help and served hundreds of families over 40 years, with food, clothing and household items. The stories of how this program helped a family make it through tough, lean days warms my heart. Past clients want to give back. They return to volunteer or donate money to help other families through difficult times. This is such a worthy nonprofit.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have supported EHP since it started about 40 years ago. I am 85 years old and volunteer once a week. I see so many families helped by EHP. They receive food, clothing, and referrals for other needs.

Donor

Rating: 5

I served on the board of EHP for several years, and have been a donor and volunteer. EHP is a wonderful place for families to volunteer together, especially at the holidays - kids from more affluent families get a chance to see how much they have to be grateful for, and to be reminded of how we are all human regardless of our circumstances. EHP is also a wonderful place to donate, secure in the knowledge that your donation will be used to help those in need rather than to line the pockets of executives. The staff, at every level, are paid modestly, administrative costs are kept to a minimum, and there is a strong ethic of using every dollar as carefully as possible in service of clients.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a board member, board chair, volunteer, donor and Friend of EHP for over 20 years. It's always at the top of my donation list because I know how wisely and carefully every dollar I donate is spent. The services EHP provides - giving food, clothing and household essentials to families and individuals at no cost - are sadly much needed in the midst of the wealth of some of Silicon Valley. EHP staff and volunteers have a strong culture of treating clients with respect. The Board and Staff of EHP are always looking for ways to help client become self-sufficient while insuring that their immediate needs are met. This is an organization with a long and entirely honorable history in the community, richly deserving support, donations, and volunteers.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ecumenical Hunger Program is a uniquely positive organization. The care and concern that
is provided to those receiving services speaks to the character of EHP. The organization mission is transformed from written words to active engagement with everyone who seek the goods and services EHP provides. EHP gives a "hands up" to those needing a food box, clothing, a hair cut, legal counsel, furniture, household essentials, and more! All services and goods are provided with respect, integrity, compassion and confidentiality.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at EHP since 1975. This program continues to assist families in dire need throughout the year. During the holiday season, the program provides additional support with food (turkey, ham, yams, etc.), toys, board games, senior gifts, etc. My job paid the bills and made life easier but this program gave my life purpose. I have met many wonderful people along way "clients and volunteers". A simple act of kindness can be the difference in a child having a meal Today or Not. It's the one place regardless of race, social status or political view....people work toward a common goal.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the EHP for years and can see how much it does for people who need clothes, linens, housewares, and furniture as well as food. We are currently providing Halloween costumes for children as well as the usual everyday items! We need sheets, blankets, and bedspreads, and now that fall has come we will need warm jackets, coats, gloves, scarves, rainboots (especially for children), and warm hats, not to mention clothes like sweatshirts and sweaters. Some clients are immigrants who have arrived with nothing, or people who have lost everything in a fire or other disaster. Please help!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ecumenical Hunger Program is well-known in the community and helps a lot of people in need. The staff and volunteers are friendly and give great service.

Thank you EHP for all you do in the community!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a mom of two boys and I am currently attending school. We are a low income family and I cant afford to buy a laptop wich I need so much. I asked the people who work at the Ecumenical Hunger program of by any chance they have a laptop (to be honest, I never expected to get one) but they made me believe that angels does exist and I swear I cried! Thank you very much for making people who are in need feel that there is hope still in this world where sometimes others discrimonates us because we are not rich like them! Thank you very much God bless you guys

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a homeless veteran for eight years when I was blessed to get a place of my own this month, but I had no furnishings and had been turned away by several local organizations. That's when a friend of mine told me about EHP. He drove me there and I was blessed and amazed! The staff was so kind and extremely caring. I was truly shocked with all that they provided for me: cookware, appliances, a totally gorgeous dinette set, a desk, bookcase, vacuum cleaner, etc. I still can hardly believe it!

Life has been really hard these last few years, but EHP made starting over so much easier. I truly appreciated their wonderful staff. There are many organizations out there that are trying to help people, but not one of them can hold a candle to EHP (the best kept secret in the Bay Area!)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ecumenical Hunger Program is a staple in the community of East Palo Alto, CA that provides food, clothing, and furniture to low-income and extremely poor families. I have personally volunteered at this program and I noticed the extent to which they go out of their way to assist those in need. The staff is friendly, inviting, and very attentive to their clients. I have seen people walk away from their facilities with smiles on their faces and tears of joy rolling down their cheeks thanks to the services and caring environment that EHP is able to provide. The rest of the non-profits in the area could learn from the quality of service that EHP exhibits. Kudos to EHP and I hope they continue their good work for many years to come.

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

The memories I have of the nearly five years I spent working at the Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP)- under Nevida Butler- are among the most precious and enriching in my life, for many reasons... All of EHP's efforts go directly into helping people/families in need- from offering food assistance and household items, to job search support- but I remember there was always a priority on serving with compassion and joy... Many times I saw people come into EHP looking depressed, and yet leaving with their heads held just a little higher. And that's largely because EHP is a 'community-builder': clients, volunteers and staff, all become part of an informal and life-enriching community support network. EHP is a gift.