Hand Up Food Pantry

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If you are affected by government shutdown, JFS is providing supplemental groceries including, non-perishables and produce, during special food assistance hours every Tuesday until the shutdown ends. Please bring identification in the form of Federal ID, CAC card, or Contract OR. By offering food, we hope to ease the burden of other living expenses on affected individuals and families.As long as the shutdown continues, we will be here to help! We can also assist with navigating additional resources. Please contact JFS Access by calling (858) 637-3210 or reach out to us online.

Special Food Assistance Hours:  Tuesdays, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
JFS- Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus, Community Services Building,
8788 Balboa Avenue



“Our income didn’t cover the additional expenses of the move and San Diego’s higher cost of living. The food we received helped to make ends meet.”  – The mother of a Camp Pendleton family of four who recently relocated from North Carolina

Access the nutritious foods you and your family need—and tap into the resources we all need to fuel a healthy life.

Approximately 1 in 6 San Diegans live in food insecure homes and 1 in 5 children in San Diego struggle with hunger. We are committed to fighting against hunger in San Diego. And the reason is clear: We know that when families have enough to eat, they can more easily afford other necessities, maintain their health, fulfill their potential at work and school, and focus on their long-term goals. 

The Hand Up Food Pantry offers wholesome food and a connection to the resources and services available to San Diegans facing food insecurity. You can access the Hand Up Food Pantry by visiting our JFS Corner Market located onsite at our Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus in Kearny Mesa or by visiting distributions at the JFS College Avenue Center, Camp Pendleton, and Murphy Canyon.    

This video of a visitor to our Corner Market illustrates the value of food distribution to many San Diegans who are working hard and falling short. 

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 open to everyone and offers fresh produce, bread, dairy, meat, healthy non‑perishable items, hygiene 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

When: Every 4th Monday of the month
Where: College Avenue Center
Temple Emanu-El, 6299 Capri Drive, 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 www.SanDiegoFoodBank.org.

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” 

San Diego Food Bank Header Logo

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2019 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

Last distribution at this site will be February 21st. A new location will be announced soon.

Open to anyone in need of food assistance

1:00 to 3:00pm
2728 6th Avenue
San Diego 92103 (corner of 6th and Olive)

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 Road, San Diego

2019: January 13, February 10, March 10, April 14, May 5, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, October 6, November 10, December 8

Camp Pendleton
2:00 to 3:00pm
Religious Development Center
Building #1344 on A Street and 11th Street

2019: January 27, Feburary 24, March 31, April 28, May 19, June 30,
July 28, August 25, September 29, October 27, November 24,
December 29 

"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 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 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 volunteer@jfssd.org

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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

Please leave this field empty

(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 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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