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Residents Urged To Utilize C.A.R.E. Center Programs
Sherrie Vaden, who serves as director of the local C.A.R.E. Center food cupboard, stands by the newly painted, colorful windows of the Second Street location; the artwork was done by Shari Dugo. Marg Jackson/The Times

A program of the Escalon Ministerial Association, the local C.A.R.E. – Community Action Resources of Escalon – food bank is open for business.

Interim Director Sherri Vaden said they have seen a drop off in the number of families utilizing their services over the last several months and they want to make sure that everyone knows what they have available.

The food cupboard is open to residents of Escalon, Farmington and Collegeville.

“We want to get the schedule out there, so they know they can come in,” Vaden said.

The supplemental food program is offered on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and is open to residents of the three communities who need food and whose income meets the Federal Guidelines. A bag of food is provided free for each household.

Once a month, the third Thursday, C.A.R.E. has the federal commodities distribution day, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.; during that week, the Wednesday distribution is not held. The commodities are distributed to households who self-certify that they meet the Federal Guidelines. The government distribution features specific food items each month.

Offered bi-weekly on the second and fourth Tuesday after the first Monday of the month, the Senior Brown Bag program is for seniors over 60 years of age living on a fixed income. Those within the fixed income guidelines can get a bag of food each month, at an annual cost of $12. The Senior Brown Bag program runs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Also, the second Tuesday of each month, 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., features a visit by the Second Harvest Mobile Farmer’s Market, which distributes fresh fruits and vegetables at the food cupboard.

C.A.R.E. is at 1601 Second St., Escalon and the program has been supported over the years as a ministry of the Escalon Ministerial Association. Information about the program guidelines can be obtained by calling 209-417-2048.

Roughly 15 to 20 volunteers work in the various food distribution programs offered through C.A.R.E. to help those in need in the community.

Along with the food supplied to C.A.R.E. by the larger regional food bank, community donations are also accepted to help keep the shelves stocked. Many local churches collect food items to donate to C.A.R.E. on a regular basis and several community groups have also helped out in the past by hosting drives for the local food cupboard. Among them, high school clubs and organizations that work to provide holiday food baskets for local residents. Monetary donations are accepted; mail checks, made out to C.A.R.E., to Escalon Ministerial Association, P.O. Box 1, Escalon, CA 95320.