By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Multi-Agency Food Drive Bolsters Emergency Pantries
e food
Bags of groceries adding up to over 2,100 pounds of food in Escalon alone were donated during the annual Stuff the Bus campaign. The local C.A.R.E. Center benefitted from the food drive. Marg Jackson/The Times


San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) and its partners, including Escalon’s eTrans bus service, collected over 41,000 pounds of food at the 17th Annual Stuff the Bus food drive from Friday through Sunday, Nov.20 through 22. This year, the events collected 676 turkeys for local food banks – more than any past Stuff the Bus event. Since 1999, RTD and its partners have raised over 287,000 pounds of food donations at Stuff the Bus events.

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. Those agencies include Emergency Food Bank of Stockton, Salvation Army of Lodi, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Escalon CARE.

The Boy Scouts - Greater Yosemite Council participated in Stuff the Bus events in Stockton and Lodi by dropping off food donations collected through the “Scouting for Food” program. Throughout the county, Scouts went door-to-door on Nov. 21 picking up nonperishable food donations. The Boy Scouts picked up over 16,000 pounds in Stockton, Lodi, and Galt alone.

Individually, each organization collected: 11,351 pounds (RTD); 4,690 lbs. (Lodi Grapeline); 16,240 lbs. (Boy Scouts of America – Greater Yosemite Council); 6,906 lbs. (Manteca Transit); and 2,119 lbs. (Escalon eTrans).

“Together, the food donations will provide over 33,000 meals,” said RTD spokeswoman Tara Gallegos.

Cumulus Broadcasting, Stockton Record, Food 4 Less, and Big Boy Market sponsored the events. KWIN/KWNN (97.7/98.3) promoted the campaign with live on-site broadcasts, promotional appearances, on-air interviews, and public service announcements. 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. Each store donated gift cards for raffle prizes.

In addition to thanking campaign sponsors for their continued support, RTD would like to give special thanks to the organizations and people who helped make this year’s food drive a success: Lodi Grapeline, Manteca Transit, and Escalon eTrans; Boy Scouts of America – Greater Yosemite Council; KWIN and KJOY staff, and their generous listeners; Emergency Food Bank of Stockton, Salvation Army of Lodi, Second Harvest Food Bank of Manteca, and Escalon CARE staff and volunteers for their support; all the Stuff the Bus participants, event volunteers and staff.

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