hand up youth food pantry at jfs

Hand Up Youth Food Pantry LogoLed by the Hand Up Teen Leadership Program, the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry doesn’t believe in handouts—instead, our pantry focuses on helping people get back on their feet. Not only do we provide food to thousands of San Diego’s hungry, but by including case managers at distribution sites we open the door to the array of vital services offered at Jewish Family Service.

437,500 San Diego County Residents seek emergency food each year, including 201,250 children under 18 years old. Of those seeking food, only 7% are homeless and 62% are households that include at least one employed adult. These study results come from the largest, most comprehensive report on domestic hunger ever conducted, Feeding America’s “Hunger in America 2010”. The Hand Up Youth Food Pantry has been a partner agency of Feeding America San Diego and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank for many years and is doing our part to alleviate hunger in San Diego.

Feeding America recently released its quadrennial study, "Hunger In America," which estimates that 25% of U.S. households with a member currently serving in the military receive food assistance from a Feeding America-supported program. As a Feeding America San Diego partner and resource for military families in San Diego, Jewish Family Service worked with NBC to explore how this national challenge affects individuals and families in our own community. Click here to read more.

Hand Up Youth Food Pantry's Jennifer Daelyn featured on the U-T Community Spotlight Radio Show>>

Shop Whole Foods Del Mart & Support Hand Up

For the second year in a row, a local Whole Foods store has selected the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry as the beneficiary of its annual Feed 4 More campaign! Last year, when we partnered with their La Jolla store, over $32,000 was raised for our food pantry—$16,000 of which we received as a cash donation, and the other half of which was donated in the form of tons upon tons of nutritious, non-perishable food! Not just that—we raised awareness among thousands of Whole Foods shoppers about the great work of JFS.

This year, we’re excited to be partnering with Whole Foods Del Mar. Join us in supporting the Feed 4 More campaign during the month of November! How can you help?

  • Shop at the Whole Foods Del Mar store at 2600 Via De La Valle #100 between now and November 30, and donate to the Feed 4 More campaign. If you go on Sundays, you’ll have a chance to meet with JFS staff and volunteers who will be at the store!
  • Buy one of the specially marked Suja juices, and the full $2 purchase price will go to the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry!
  • Email your friends and family, and encourage them to support the campaign.
  • Post a message on Facebook to show your support and encourage the support of others in your social network! Here’s a sample post: "I hope you’ll join me in supporting @Whole Foods Market Del Mar’s “Feed 4 More Campaign,” which supports the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry at @Jewish Family Service of San Diego! Just shop at the store anytime in November and you can support the campaign each time you check out.

Thank you for your continued support of JFS!

Learn More About:
Food Distribution Location & Schedules 
Volunteer Opportunities
The Giving Tree
Meet the Hand Up Staff

Food Distribution Locations & Schedules
Hand Up truck 2014The Hand Up Youth Food Pantry delivers food to several locations throughout San Diego County. Food is distributed once a week at St. Paul’s Cathedral downtown, once a month at Camp Pendleton and Murphy Canyon Military Housing, and as needed to our clients at Chabad Downtown, College Avenue Center, Foodmobile, JFS Turk Family Center, and JFS North County Coastal office.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Distribution
Open to anyone in need of food assistance

Thursdays • 1:00–3:00pm
 2728 6th Ave. (corner of 6th and Olive)
San Diego 92103
Items distributed include canned and boxed food, fresh produce, bread, hygiene items, and frozen meat (available one time per month). Attendees are welcome to pick up food weekly. We encourage you to avoid a long line by arriving after 2:00pm, when the line is shorter and food is still available. Please bring a picture ID and be prepared to fill out a short form the first time you attend. 

"I am thankful for the food distribution because I lack the money to pay for food most of the time. The staff are all friendly and make me feel welcome."
–  St. Paul’s Cathedral food recipient

Military Distributions
Open to Active Duty military and their spouses

We encourage you not to arrive before 1:30pm. We plan food purchasing based on our experience and typically do not run out before 3:00pm. Products distributed are standardized to ensure fairness to every family served.


Murphy Canyon Military Housing
Murphy Canyon Chapel 3200 Santo Rd.
December 14 • 2:00–3:00pm
2015 dates: January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 7, July 12, August 9, September 13, October 4, November 8, December 13

Camp Pendleton
Religious Development Center • Building #1344 on A St. and 11th St.
November 23, and December 21 • 2:00–3:00pm
2015 dates: January 25, February 22, March 22, April 26, May 17, June 21, July 26, August 23, September 27, October 18, November 22, December 20

"These food distributions are important to my family as military pay isn’t very much. My family depends on the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry to make ends meet."
– Camp Pendleton family

We welcome any feedback about distribution procedures and community needs by emailing handup@jfssd.org. We also greatly appreciate thank you emails and letters that we can use to fundraise and continue serving the community. For more information about the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry, call (858) 637-3088 or email.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Hand Up Teen Leader

The Hand Up Youth Food Pantry feeds hundreds of hungry individuals and families each month. 20-25% of the food distributed comes from commuity food drives. You can help alleviate hunger by conducting a food drive in your school, business, group, or congregation! We’ll provide you with everything you need, including flyers and food bins. For more information, call (858) 637-3356.

We have many other opportunities in the pantry and in the community for individual and group volunteers. We depend on hundreds of volunteers each month to assemble food bags, organize the pantry, and distribute food to our clients. Click here for a complete list of volunteer opportunities with the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry. To register for volunteer opportunities in the pantry or at military distributions, complete the Hand Up volunteer application.

"Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to help. My daughter wants to keep coming back to volunteer, she loves it!"
– Hand Up volunteer

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Hand Up Youth Food Pantry Giving Tree

Hand Up Youth Food Pantry Giving TreeThe Hand Up Youth Food Pantry is a partner agency of Feeding America San Diego and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. Through these organizations, we are able to purchase food at greatly reduced prices – often $.10-$.20 per pound! This partnership allows JFS to stretch each donated dollar much further and purchase more food than at a grocery store. Consider making a monetary donation by dedicating our Giving Tree! Click here for more information.

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Meet the Hand Up Staff

Jennifer Daelyn, Food Pantry Lead
Jennifer DaelynJennifer joined the Hand Up team in July 2013. Before moving to California, she coordinated a food pantry serving HIV+ individuals in downtown Philadelphia at an LGBT health center. Jennifer has always been passionate about providing quality food to those who need it and believes that a wholesome diet is truly the foundation for a full and active life. Jennifer joined the Hand Up team as the Food Drive and Distribution Specialist, and has truly enjoyed serving San Diegans in need at weekly and monthly distributions and by coordinating community food drives. Since being promoted to Food Pantry Lead, Jennifer looks forward to providing more healthy options to the people we serve, coordinating nutrition education events, and expanding our services as JFS grows.

Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Jennifer came to San Diego for the sunshine, the ocean, and Balboa Park. When she is not working, she can usually be found out in nature, working on an art project, or curled up with a good book. If you are interesting in setting up a food drive to benefit Hand Up, contact Jennifer at (858) 637-3356 or jenniferd@jfssd.org.

Rachel Isaacson, Food Drive and Distribution Specialist
Rachel IsaacsonRachel joined Hand Up this past August 2014 after graduating from UC San Diego with a major in Political Science. While on campus, Rachel became involved with preventative health care, working as a peer educator on health issues for nearly three years. She is interested in noncommunicable diseases, specifically obesity and other diet-related disorders. To study these further, Rachel plans to attend graduate school and earn her Master’s in Public Health. She is very excited to be working at Jewish Family Service with Hand Up. She loves interacting directly with the community, and looks forward to helping make nutritious food more accessible in San Diego.

Originally from Boston, Rachel grew up in Los Angeles and has been living in San Diego for the last four years. In her free time, she practices yoga, cooks, and explores San Diego. She also just ran a half marathon and is looking forward to running more! Feel free to contact Rachel at (858) 637-3243 or racheli@jfssd.org.

Elaine Borromeo, Program Assistant
Elaine BorromeoElaine connected with the Hand Up team last November as a volunteer. She worked directly with Food Pantry staff as a data entry administrative assistant, helping to accurately represent the populations served every week through Hand Up's food distributions and other JFS programs. Since starting her new role, Elaine has been active at food distribution sites by checking in clients from all over San Diego County. Elaine is happy to be helping to alleviate hunger here in San Diego and working hard with her team. She loves engaging with clients and is passionate about providing good customer service in all that she does.

When she is not working, Elaine enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, tackling word search puzzles, and scrapbooking. If you are interested in volunteering with the Hand Up team, contact Elaine at (858) 637-3299 or elaineb@jfssd.org.

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Stay Connected with JFS

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(858) 637-3088
Send an email>>

Turk Family Center
8804 Balboa Ave.
San Diego, CA  92123

Hand Up Website>>

Hand Up Youth Food Pantry Volunteer Application>>

For returning Hand Up Youth Food Pantry volunteers, click here

All communication is strictly confidential.

This program is generously supported by a grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

Funded, in part, by the City of Encinitas and Mizel Family Foundation Community Grant Program.

Jewish Federation

Cox Cares

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