After more than three decades in their Second Street location, the Escalon C.A.R.E. Center will soon be on the move.
The Community Action Resources of Escalon organization, an outreach of the Escalon Ministerial Association, has been housed at 1531 Second St., Escalon, in a portion of the American Legion Hall, for years. With the Legion now looking to expand and offer more services for veterans in their location, the C.A.R.E. Center is also searching for a new facility.
“We want to express our heartfelt thanks to the American Legion,” C.A.R.E. President Victor Berg-Haglund said. “This has been a wonderful partnership and we are grateful for the long time use of their facility. C.A.R.E. uses most of the American Legion Hall. They have provided this at a very low “rent” because they felt this was an important need for the community.”
Haglund, who is pastor at Saron Lutheran, said having the building to use for so long has been a blessing for the organization and they fully understand the situation, as local veterans want more room to provide services for their members and those in need of camaraderie and support after serving.
“The Escalon Ministerial Association and all the volunteers at C.A.R.E. understand and appreciate the Post’s desire to use their facility to provide more opportunities for veterans to gather and provide one another support and fellowship,” Berg-Haglund noted. “It is the right thing to do.”
The goal for C.A.R.E., he added, is to find another local facility to lease, or possibly purchase, to allow the food bank to continue its work.
C.A.R.E. is open Wednesday mornings for emergency food distribution and also hosts the Senior Brown Bag distribution the second and fourth Tuesdays and a third Thursday of the month Commodity Distribution. The week of the third Thursday, there is no Wednesday food distribution.
Berg-Haglund said the American Legion truly “provided a gift to the Escalon community” in allowing C.A.R.E. to share the location and help serve those who face food insecurity.
“They are allowing us time to find a new place to use and have worked hard themselves to try and secure another option for us,” Berg-Haglund said of the Legion members.
In fact, the Legion created a small task force, he added, to help search for a new location for the food cupboard.
There are some specific requirements, such as the need for multiple refrigerator/freezer units for food storage, a restroom for volunteers and, at the least, a mop sink to assist in cleaning the facility.
C.A.R.E. officials are also on the lookout for potential properties to lease or purchase and those with property that may be suitable could potentially receive some tax benefits, as the organization is a non-profit.