SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego County transportation agencies will be collecting holiday donations for the needy at 14 Vons grocery stores Saturday as part of the fourth annual "Stuff the Bus" campaign.
The event put on by the Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District will benefit the San Diego Food Bank's holiday drive.
"This is the fourth year that we've asked our staff, our riders and the public to help us stuff the buses with much needed food," MTS Chairman Harry Mathis said. "Last year they filled MTS buses with more than 10,000 pounds of food and we are working to beat that record for this year."
People can donate nonperishable food in paper or canned packaging.
Anything in a glass container will not be accepted, according the MTS, because of some federal rules.
The Food Bank expects to distribute more than 20 million pounds of food by the end of this year -- up from 15.3 million pounds last year, according to CEO J. Scofield Hage.
The NCTD is participating for the first time.
"The number of people who need assistance continues to rise and they could be our friends, family, and neighbors," NCTD Chairman Chris Orlando said. "We're hoping everyone can take time this weekend and come out to a neighborhood Vons to help us help them."
Collection sites will be outside Vons stores at:
-- 6951 El Camino Real, Carlsbad;
-- 845 College Blvd, Oceanside;
-- 453 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas;
-- 330 W. El Norte Parkway, Escondido;
-- 11986 Bernardo Plaza, Rancho Bernardo;
-- 13255 Black Mountain Road, Rancho Penasquitos;
-- 10675 Scripps Poway Parkway, Scripps Ranch;
-- 7788 Regents Road; University City;
-- 3610 Adams Ave., Normal Heights;
-- 4145 30th St., North Park;
-- 1702 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach;
-- 9643 Mission Gorge Road, Santee;
-- 1201 Avocado Ave., El Cajon; and
-- 2250 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista.
Those who can't make it to a store can text "SDFBUS" to 20222 to donate $5 to the Food Bank. The amount can purchase 15 meals for the hungry in San Diego County.