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Donations Being Sought For C.A.R.E. Food Pantry
Residents in need can still obtain emergency food at the Escalon C.A.R.E. Center and the local Lions Club is hosting a food drive for the facility on Feb. 27.

Churches that normally send in monthly donations to the local food pantry aren’t able to do that right now ... and the C.A.R.E. Center needs some help.

Community Action Resources of Escalon, C.A.R.E., is the local food cupboard that helps meet emergency food needs for residents in the Escalon, Farmington and Collegeville areas. It is a program of the Escalon Ministerial Association.

C.A.R.E. Director Sherri Vaden said the local pantry on Second Street is open for its normal distribution hours, though they are not allowing anyone in the building and instead are doing a ‘curbside’ type pick up of food, setting up a table during their regular hours.

“They walk up, we have them stand six feet apart, we just don’t let people in the building anymore,” Vaden said of working to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

“We’re trying to be as close to normal as possible,” she added of continuing to be open for weekly food distributions, commodity giveaways and more.

Traditionally, churches throughout the region have provided specific needs each month, whether that is pasta, cereals, canned goods, etc., but with no churches able to hold in-person services right now, the donations have fallen off.

“We need food and money,” Vaden said.

Monetary donations are preferred at this point, she added, because they can use that to purchase items through Second Harvest Food Bank, where their dollar will go a lot farther. But all donations are welcome, especially non-perishable food items in boxes and cans.

Checks can be made out to C.A.R.E. and mailed to the 1601 Second St., Escalon, CA 95320 address.

“We get really good deals on the food at Second Harvest,” Vaden explained.

She said they are seeing plenty of people coming for the food on a regular basis and the few volunteers they have working are able to keep the flow going fairly well. C.A.R.E. is open the second and fourth Tuesdays (after the first Monday) of each month from 8 a.m. to 11 .m. along with Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. – they are closed the third Wednesday, as the third Thursday of the month is the government commodities distribution, from 8 a.m. to 11 am.

The Mobile Farmers Market, also known as the Veggie Van, arrives the second Tuesday (after the first Monday) of each month at 9:45 a.m.

For more information or to contact Vaden regarding making a donation or to learn about the program participation requirements, call 209-417-2048.