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Led by the Hand Up Teen Leadership Program, the Hand Up Food Pantry focuses on helping people get back on their feet. Not only do we provide food to thousands of San Diegans facing hunger, but by including case managers at distribution sites we open the door to the array of vital services offered at Jewish Family Service.

Feeding America San Diego’s 2014 Hunger in America study shows that of the 473,500 San Diego County residents who seek emergency food every year, 26% are under the age of 18, 64% live in households in which at least one member worked during the previous year, and 27% live in households that include at least one member who is serving or has served in the military. By providing more lean meats, low-fat dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables, the Hand Up Food Pantry helps individuals and families access the nutrition they need to be good students, healthy and productive workers, and engaged members of our San Diego community.

National data from the Hunger In America study estimates that one-fourth of all 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.

The Hand Up Food Pantry is a partner agency of Feeding America San Diego and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

Learn More About ... 

Food Distribution Location & Schedules
Corner Market
Volunteer Opportunities

corner-market-flyerShop the Corner Market at JFS

The Corner Market at Jewish Family Service is a market-style pantry offering fresh produce, bread, dairy, meat, healthy non‑perishable items, and pet supplies.

Corner Market
Hours of Operation

1:00 – 3:00pm

Tuesday & Wednesday
10:00am – 12:00pm
1:00 – 3:00pm

1:00  3:00pm
4:00 – 6:00pm

10:00am – 12:00pm

Corner Market clients shop by appointment using a points system, choosing the foods that best meet their dietary needs and preferences.

Shoppers may visit 6 times a year, no more than once a month. 

Many other social and financial services are available through Jewish Family Services and you are encouraged to enroll in any which suit your needs. 

Appointments last approximately 15 minutes. Service animals welcome.

To schedule an appointment to visit the Corner Market, call (858) 637-3010.

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The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s Senior Food Program

New Participants: Apply Here!
Every 4th Monday of the month
(Beginning Monday, March 28, 2016)
Time: 1:00-3:00pm
Where: College Avenue Center
Temple Emanu-El, 6299 Capri Dr, San Diego, CA 92120

The Senior Food Program is a USDA program that works to improve the health of income-eligible seniors 60 years of age and older by supplementing their diets with nutritious foods. 

senior-food-distributionThe Food Bank provides 30-pound food boxes at 45 locations throughout San Diego County, including the College Avenue Center at Temple Emanu-El.

Boxes contain canned and packaged food including vegetables, fruit juice, pasta, milk, cereal, canned meat, and a non-meat protein.

How to apply to receive food:  
To be eligible, participants must be at least 60 years old, a resident of San Diego County, and have income no higher than the federal income guidelines listed below. Eligible seniors should apply in person at the College Avenue Center.

 Household Size  Gross Monthly Income Annual Gross Income 
 1  $1,276  $15,301
 2  $1726  $20,709
 3  $2177  $26,117

What you need to apply: 

  • Proof of Identification
  • Proof of Income (Social Security Retirement, Disability, Employment Pension, Veterans Benefits Pay, SSI, Bank statement, etc.)
  • Proof of Address

For more information and additional distribution sites, call the Food Bank
at 1-866-350-FOOD (3663) or online at

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” 

San Diego Food Bank Header Logo

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2017 Food Distribution Location & Schedules

The Hand Up Food Pantry delivers food to several locations throughout San Diego County. Food is distributed once a month at St. Paul’s Cathedral downtown, once a month at Camp Pendleton and Murphy Canyon Military Housing, and as needed to our clients at various JFS locations and at offices in Kearny Mesa.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Distribution

Open to anyone in need of food assistance

3rd Thursday of the month
1:00 to 3:00pm

2728 6th Ave. (corner of 6th and Olive), San Diego 92103
October 19th, November 16th, December 21st

Items distributed include canned and boxed food, fresh produce, bread, and hygiene items. Attendees are welcome to pick up food monthly. 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
2:00 to 3:00pm

Murphy Canyon Chapel, 3200 Santo Rd., San Diego
November 12th, December 10th

Camp Pendleton
2:00 to 3:00pm
Religious Development Center, Building #1344 on A St. and 11th St.
November 19th, December 17th

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

– Camp Pendleton family

We welcome any feedback about distribution procedures and community needs by emailing 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 Food Pantry, call (858) 637-3356 or email.

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Client Choice Pantry

The Hand Up Food Pantry at Jewish Family Service is seeking energetic, committed volunteers to join its Corner Market. 

Unlike a traditional pantry, where clients receive a pre-packed bag of staple foods, our Corner Market will allow visitors to “shop” from our available items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, meat, and low-fat dairy. This model reduces food waste and prioritizes the dignity of our clients, allowing them to choose foods that match their preferences and dietary restrictions.

Our pantry is only possible with your help.

Volunteer Opportunity

Provide one-on-one assistance to clients as they shop

 Empower clients with recipes and nutrition information

Assist Hand Up staff with critical tasks to keep our pantry running

Able to commit three hours each week for at least three months


Ready to make an impact?

Click here to apply and specify your interest in the Corner Market>>


Contact JFS Volunteer Engagement at:
(858) 637-3291 or at

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Volunteer Opportunities

Hand Up Teen Leader

The Hand Up 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) 637-3291.

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 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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Stay Connected with JFS

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(858) 637-3356
Send an email>>

(858) 637-3210

(General Information)
(858) 637-3000

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

Hand Up Website>>

Hand Up Food Pantry Volunteer Application>>

For returning Hand Up Food Pantry volunteers, click here

All communication is strictly confidential.

This program is generously supported
by a grant from the

S. Mark Taper Foundation

Jewish Federation

San Diego Gas & Electric

Banfield Charitable Trust

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