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Food, Coats Collected To Aid Locals In Need
Coats E
C.A.R.E., Community Action Resources of Escalon, volunteer Allan Lial, left, hoists a bag of donated coats, dropped off during the recent food drive for C.A.R.E. in cooperation with eTrans. At right is C.A.R.E. Director Patti Baxter. Marg Jackson/The Times

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) and its partners collected over 28,000 pounds of food, including 640 turkeys, at the 18th Annual Stuff the Bus food drive Nov. 18 through 20. Since 1999, RTD and its partners have now raised over 315,000 pounds of food donations at Stuff the Bus events. This year, Stuff the Bus also collected coats for those in need, bringing in 64 coats.

RTD worked with local transit agencies, Lodi Grapeline, Manteca Transit, and Escalon eTrans, in a simultaneous countywide food drive to collect food for local nonprofit agencies, including the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton, the Salvation Army of Lodi, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Escalon C.A.R.E.

The Boy Scouts – Greater Yosemite Council participated in the Stuff the Bus event in Stockton by dropping off food donations collected via the “Scouting for Food” program. The Boy Scouts went door-to-door on Saturday, Nov. 19 picking up nonperishable food donations, collecting over 3,400 pounds. Girl Scout troops also participated by volunteering at Stuff the Bus locations.

Individually, each organization collected the following: 9,630 pounds (RTD); 6,088 pounds (Manteca Transit); 5,643 pounds (Lodi Grapeline); 3,420 pounds (Boy Scouts of America – Greater Yosemite Council); and 3,396 pounds (Escalon eTrans). Together, the food donations will provide over 22,500 meals. Escalon also received 16 donated coats.

Food 4 Less stores in Lodi, Manteca, and on Hammer Lane in Stockton, along with Big Boy Market in Escalon, hosted the three-day event, with each store donating gift cards for raffles prizes. San Joaquin Delta College’s “Fierce” the Mustang mascot also provided on-site entertainment and outreach.

RTD is proud to serve the community through the annual Stuff the Bus food drive and to lead a group of local agencies that, by working together, are able to help so many local residents in need this holiday season.