The Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP), a 35 year old, private, non-profit, community-based organization located in East Palo Alto provides emergency food, clothing, case management, and household essentials to families in need in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto. In addition, EHP plays a major role in both advocating for, and providing referrals to resources available to low-income families and individuals in our community.
EHP provides food, clothing, household essentials, support and referral services to those in need.
Our Core Values
Compassion, Respect, Integrity, Sustainability, Empowerment, Teamwork
EHP has been in the safety net business since it was founded in 1975 by Miriam Nixon Hope and a group from Church Women United who channeled surplus and donated food to neighborhood pantries where it was then distributed to families in need. EHP was incorporated in 1978 as a non-profit organization. Under the direction of Nevida Butler, EHP began providing direct services to families in need in 1981 and it has grown to become the largest direct emergency food provider in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. EHP also began addressing other critical needs in the community, distributing clothing, furniture, and household essentials, and providing case management, referrals and other support to those in need in our service area. However, EHP’s program focus has always been on essential resources for survival, primarily food.
Throughout the past 35 years, EHP has remained a community based organization meaning that it has grown and adjusted based upon community needs and trends and has only survived with community support without government funding. Although a well established organization, EHP has held onto its “grass roots” mentality by continuing to provide personal and customized safety net services to each individual and family.
EHP staff, board and volunteers have remained alert and aware of all issues facing local families and for over thirty years, they have strived to remain educated and knowledgeable in order to provide innovative solutions to the age old problems of hunger and poverty.
EHP has consistently worked with local community organizations learning from them, providing assistance to and receiving assistance from them in order to provide the highest quality of services available to our families. Since its inception, EHP has retained the reputation of being a sustainable organization that operates with integrity, honesty, flexibility and accountability.
Accomplishments in FY 2010-2011
Number of households served food boxes - 5,234
Individuals served food boxes - 23,328
Individuals served supplemental food boxes - 2,336
Number of walk-in clothes closet visits - 4,429
Number of individuals served through clothes closet - 13,760
Number of furniture items distributed - 3,193
Visits to the TAP center - 686
Volunteer hours - 14,869
Total client referrals given - 257
Total hot meals served - 4,303
Total individuals served through Produce Distribution - 5,395
Dollar value of in-kind donations received - $1,223,361
Our Diverse Community
EHP serves low income families and individuals. If clients are fortunate enough to have housing, they are now often in jeopardy of losing it. Many of the families EHP serves are faced with the terrible dilemma of having to choose between having a roof over their heads or food on the table. A warm jacket and school supplies are often luxuries EHP’s clients simply cannot afford. Although EHP’s priority is serving families, seniors, the disabled, and some individuals also receive services. The composition of EHP’s client base by ethnicity is:
- 55% Hispanic
- 20% African American
- 15% Pacific Islander
- 5% Caucasion
- 5% Other Nationalities
According to Second Harvest Food Bank’s recent report 71,066 residents of San Mateo County are living 150% below the federal poverty standard. The Food Bank compiled the following facts about clients who receive food from community-based organizations such as EHP.
- 75% are families with children
- 48% are children under 17 years of age
- 88% have an annual income under $14,000
The EHP office is located at 2411 Pulgas Avenue in East Palo Alto. We are open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on special Saturday distribution days (please call the office for the weekend schedule). Walk-in donations are accepted during all open hours. Please go to the "Donate" page for more information on scheduling large donation pick-ups.