The city’s annual Stuff the Bus food drive had already received 45 turkeys for needy families as of 5 p.m. Friday in the Food-4-Less parking lot.
Despite the weather, people were still showing up and dropping off food they purchased in the grocery store.
“It’s going great. It is much better than anticipated, even with the crazy weather. We’ve had wind and rain, but we’ve already collected more turkeys than we did last year,” said Patsy Tucker, an administrative clerk for the Lodi Police Department.
The bus is parked in front of Food-4-Less, and as people walk into the store, they are handed a list of non-perishable food they can purchase. All of the food goes to the Salvation Army and remains in Lodi, Tucker said.
Every night, they take the bus over to Salvation Army to weigh the food. Last year, the food drive raised 6,500 pounds of food, which feeds 3,100 people.
This year, the goal is to raise 8,000 pounds of food.
The San Joaquin Regional Transit District started the drive 12 years ago in Stockton. It recruited Lodi and Manteca to participate for the first time last year.
Julia Tyack, transportation planner, and Tucker organized the event and teamed up with MV Transportation, the contractor in charge of the GrapeLine buses.
On Friday, local radio station KWIN did live broadcasts from the food drives as people dropped off one or two items or bags of food. The station has promoted the food drives all week.
Volunteers will collect food from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
“The generosity is overwhelming ... If everybody brings one thing, we’ll have a ton of food for people in Lodi,” said Jeff Kohlhepp, MV Transportation.