Who We Are

Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) fosters dignity and self reliance for the economically vulnerable in the communities we serve. We help seniors, adults, and families struggling to provide for their most basic needs and working to attain their highest level of independence. Acting with financial support from the community we serve, TCAA operates a food pantry, three senior centers, aging programs, Home-Delivered Meal program, emergency rent/mortgage and utility assistance, the Tempe Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP), pre- and post-natal services, two community gardens,  the Family Economic Advancement Initiative, and other projects and programs that serve our most vulnerable residents. TCAA serves more than 18,000 unduplicated seniors, adults and children each year.


In 1966, the Escalante community and the City of Tempe started as “Operation Grassroots” as a food buying co-op, tortilla factory, neighborhood credit union, post office and community garden. Incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 1971, TCAA has been the community’s primary social service organization, serving elderly and low income community members. The agency is governed by an Executive Director and a volunteer Board of Directors. TCAA is supported by private contributors as well as grants and contracts from sources such as Maricopa County Human Services Department, Area Agency on Aging Region One, the cities of Tempe and Scottsdale, Valley of the Sun United Way, Arizona Department of Health Services, foundations, corporations, and private citizens. The agency’s small professional staff of 33 paid employees is assisted by over 900 community volunteers.

Board of Directors

  • President
    Margaret Hunnicutt - Landings Credit Union
  • Past President
    Janet Seegren - Community Volunteer
  • Vice President
    Ed Baker - Salt River Project
  • Secretary
    Barbara Lloyd - NAI Horizon
  • Treasurer
    Jason Mattina - Wallace Plese + Dreher
  • Board Member
    Nick Bastian - Realty Executives
  • Board Member
    Christine Cervantes - Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
  • Board Member
    Suzanne Durkin-Bighorn - Community Volunteer
  • Board Member
    Lee Farr - Bank of America
  • Board Member
    Donna Kennedy - City of Tempe
  • Board Member
    Starla Martinez - Wellness Alliance Home Health
  • Board Member
    Riccardo Stewart - Redemption Tempe
  • Board Member
    Electa Thompson - Edward Jones
  • Board Member
    Manjula Vaz - Gammage & Burnham

Our Team

Why We Are Needed

Nearly 22% of Tempe residents live in poverty.

Our food pantry has seen a 30% increase of families seeking assistance over the past two years.

TCAA’s I-HELP, Tempe’s only homeless shelter, provides overnight lodging at an average cost of just $9.40 per bed night; 74% lower than the cost of government funded shelter programs.