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Weekend Food Drive Nets 1,500 Pounds For C.A.R.E.
Lions Club President Mike Powers, at left, watches as fellow Lions member John Salvin, in back, and his wife Marylyn Salvin, at right, arrive with a couple of carts of food after receiving a cash donation and shopping at MarVal during a Feb. 27 food drive. Marg Jackson/The Times

Local residents stepped up in a big way over the weekend, donating more than 1,500 pounds of food during the Escalon Lions Club food drive.

Hosted on behalf of C.A.R.E., Community Action Resources of Escalon, the drive was part of a statewide Lions Club effort to collect 150,000 pounds of non-perishable food items during the month of February.

“Our final total came to 1573 pounds of non-perishable food items. That’s one percent of the statewide target,” pointed out Escalon Lions Club President Mike Powers, who was pleased with the local collection. “In addition we have picked and donated over 600 pounds of oranges collected from local privately owned trees over the last month.”

Officials at C.A.R.E., the local food cupboard for residents of Escalon, Farmington and Collegeville, noted that the non-perishable items will go a long way toward helping them meet the continued increased demand as a result of the pandemic.

The fresh fruit is also a bonus, which can be added weekly to the food distribution for local families and older residents in need.

Also, as the local food cupboard prepares for spring and the coming Easter holiday, coordinator Sherrie Vaden said they are hoping to get donations of 50 hams during the month of March to hand out for Easter. Contact Vaden at 209-417-2048 for additional information or to arrange a contribution drop-off.

Powers said getting the local Escalon Lions Club involved in the statewide effort was not a hard decision, once he knew the food collected here would stay in the community to benefit local residents. A crew of several Lions Club members was on hand at the MarVal Main Street Market parking lot on Saturday, Feb. 27 to take in the donations, filling up a couple of pick-up truck beds with canned goods, boxed items and more.

Among those working during the event were John and Marylyn Salvin, Kenny Taggart, Mike Caskey, Chuck Sawyer, Dwayne Roberts, John Largent, Scott Orr, Robert Swift, Marilyn Richardson and Powers.

“Marilyn Richardson is our new club member and current District Governor,” noted Powers.

Donations came from young, old and in between, as well as from Escalon Community Ambulance and some residents providing cash donations that allowed the club members to do some shopping at MarVal. The market also made a donation of some food items to help with the collection.

The food drive ran from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, with the donations taken directly to the C.A.R.E. Center on Second Street that day for drop-off.

Powers added that they are always looking for new members to bolster the club and help out with the wide variety of community service work they do.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can join the Escalon Lions and participate in their community projects/programs, contact the Escalon Lions Club at

Non-perishable food items of all types were donated during the Escalon Lions Club food drive hosted at the local MarVal Main Street Market parking lot on Saturday, Feb. 27. Marg Jackson/The Times