San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) will host its 16th annual Stuff the Bus food drive from Friday, Nov. 14 through Sunday, Nov.16, leading a countywide effort and joined by transit agencies in Lodi, Manteca, and Escalon to collect food. The donated food will benefit nonprofit agencies in the agencies’ respective communities: Greater Stockton Emergency Food Bank, Salvation Army, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Escalon CARE. The food collected will feed thousands of San Joaquin County residents this holiday season.
RTD began Stuff the Bus in 1999 as a food drive campaign that encourages area residents to “stuff” an RTD bus with food donations to benefit local nonprofit agencies. Agencies also accept turkey and meat donations for families to use for holiday dinners. Over the past 15 years, RTD and its campaign partners have collected 208,242 pounds of food to help those in need during the holiday season.
Stuff the Bus will be held in four locations this year: Food 4 Less stores on Lower Sacramento Road in Stockton, in Lodi, and in Manteca; and Big Boy Market in Escalon. Participants can register to win a Food 4 Less gift card at the Stockton, Lodi, and Manteca locations. Event participants at the Escalon location receive 10 percent off any food purchased at Big Boy Market.
At the Stockton Food 4 Less, donations will be accepted Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For the Lodi, Manteca, and Escalon locations, donations will be accepted Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Friday, Nov. 14, KWIN DJs and the KWIN Party Patrol will broadcast live at all events throughout the day.
Area food banks serve nutritious food to thousands of people daily and over 100,000 men, women, and children annually in San Joaquin County. RTD and its campaign partners, Lodi Grapeline, Manteca Transit, Escalon eTrans, KWIN/KWNN (97.7/98.3), The Record, Food 4 Less, and Big Boy Market are proud to serve the community through the annual Stuff the Bus food drive and to assist the food banks in feeding the area’s hungry during the holiday season.
For more information on Stuff the Bus, including a list of suggested food items needed for donation, visit www.sanjoaquinRTD.com/stuffthebus.
Along with the Stuff the Bus drive, plans are also in process for the annual Escalon Community Thanksgiving Dinner, traditionally served up at the city’s Community Center on Thanksgiving Day which this year will be Thursday, Nov. 27. Look for more information about the free community dinner in the Nov. 12 issue of The Times.