With Thanksgiving this week and the Christmas holiday following close behind, residents of the Escalon area were in a giving mood this past weekend.
The annual Stuff the Bus holiday food collection effort to benefit the local CARE food cupboard saw a very successful two days, according to officials. Set up outside MarVal Main Street Market on McHenry Avenue, the drive ran both Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23 and 24.
“We had 52 turkeys, four coats, 178 bags which translates to 3,575 pounds,” noted Escalon Transit Coordinator John Andoh.
The goal of the drive was to ‘stuff’ a city eTrans bus with donated food items. The 3,575 pounds was well over a ton of food brought in by residents to support those in need.
“We also got $94.10 in cash,” Andoh said of the drive, with some people choosing to make monetary donations instead of dropping off food.
Sunday featured an appearance by radio station personnel from 105.9 The Bull, a country station out of Stockton. Midday host Sarah Ghormley was there to greet people, along with Connor Cabral, who is currently in training to be an on air personality.
“It’s kind of our main goal, help the community, help get the word out,” Ghormley said of being on scene for the food drive.
“Stuff the Bus is a great cause,” added Cabral. “This is the season of giving, so why not give back to the community?”
Shoppers who chose to pick up items at MarVal for the Stuff the Bus effort received a discount when purchasing the items and CARE coordinator Sherrie Vaden and volunteer Sherry Davis were there to answer any questions about the local food cupboard. CARE serves residents in need in both Escalon and Farmington.
Among the items sought during the special holiday food drive were turkeys, canned yams, canned vegetables, boxed baking goods such as flour and sugar, along with packaged bread crumbs, boxed mashed potatoes and stuffing; all to help local families provide a healthy, well-rounded holiday meal.
Andoh said he was very pleased with the event overall and said residents have traditionally been very supportive of the Stuff the Bus project.
Donations over the last several years, in pounds, have included: 2900 in 2018; 1140 in 2017; 3396 in 2016; 2119 in 2015. Also, 1340 pounds were collected in 2014; 1330 in 2013; 1298 in 2012, 1708 in 2011 and 2400 in 2010.