Transit Agencies, grocery stores and Girl Scouts teaming up for holiday food drive

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — More than 475,000 people in San Diego County are impacted by hunger, including 138,300 children. To combat this problem, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), North County Transit District (NCTD), Albertsons/Vons, Armed Services Y and Girl Scouts San Diego are teaming up with the San Diego Food Bank for the 9th annual Stuff the Bus food drive.

San Diego residents are being asked to make non-perishable food donations at any of the 75 San Diego County Albertsons or Vons locations any time this week. In a final push, on Saturday, December 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, nearly 700 Girl Scouts will be at more than 70 stores encouraging residents to help Stuff the Bus!

Stuff the Bus organizers are challenging San Diego residents to break last year’s record of 23,000 pounds of food for families during the holiday season. All donations will go directly to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, which will then be distributed to local organizations that help the hungry.

“MTS launched  Stuff the Bus nine years ago not only to collect food for families in need, but to help raise community awareness about the issue of hunger in San Diego,” said Paul Jablonski, chief executive officer of MTS. “This is a great partnership for a great cause and we are confident the community will step up to the challenge.”

“As a company, we are fully committed to hunger relief programs, and are proud to host a food drive tackling this important issue,” said Lori Raya, president for Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions. “Stuff the Bus barrels are prominently located in all Albertsons and Vons locations in San Diego for this worthy cause, and we look forward to seeing them filled throughout the week.”

 Donating is easy. Vons has pre-packaged “hunger bags” available for shoppers to purchase for $7 and donate on-scene. Or, donors can pick up a shopping list at any Albertsons of the most important items.

Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank president & CEO James Floros said, “We are very grateful to the community for supporting the Stuff the Bus Food Drive! With rising demand over the holidays from individuals and families in need, food drive donations are critical to the Food Bank since we are currently feeding more than 370,000 people per month in communities throughout San Diego County. We are very grateful to MTS, NCTD, Vons, Albertsons, the Girl Scouts San Diego and our supporters for helping us feed families in need. Every can of food donated will prevent a San Diegan from going to bed hungry. On behalf of the Food Bank’s staff and family of volunteers we thank the community for supporting the Stuff the Bus Food Drive and helping our fellow San Diegans in need.”

"Many families face hunger and food insecurity throughout the year in San Diego County," said Matthew Tucker, executive director, North County Transit District. "The annual Stuff the Bus campaign is a wonderful opportunity for North County residents to donate food that will certainly brighten the holiday season for our neighbors in need."

Stuff the Bus is Girl Scouts San Diego’s largest regionwide community service project. “Service is at the heart of Girl Scouting,” said Carol Dedrich, CEO of Girl Scouts San Diego. “As they collect food in their schools and neighborhoods and assist at the stores, Girl Scouts will put into action their pledge to make the world a better place.”

An MTS or NCTD bus, along with Girl Scout representatives, will be on-site at the following 15 Albertsons locations Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. 

  • Carlsbad Vons (6951 El Camino Real)
  • Clairemont Vons (5555 Balboa Avenue)
  • Chula Vista Albertsons (720 Third Avenue)
  • El Cajon Vons (1201 Avocado)
  • Escondido Albertsons (1509 East Valley Parkway)
  • Lemon Grove Albertsons (7090 Broadway)
  • Mira Mesa Vons (8310 Mira Mesa Boulevard)
  • Oceanside Albertsons (3450 Marron Road)
  • Oceanside Albertsons (3925 Mission Avenue)
  • Rancho Bernardo Vons (11986 Bernardo Plaza Drive)
  • San Carlos Albertsons (8650 Lake Murray Boulevard)
  • San Marcos Albertsons (1572 San Elijo Road South)
  • Santee Vons (9870 Magnolia Avenue)
  • Spring Valley Albertsons (543 Sweetwater Road)
  • University City Vons (7788 Regents Road)

From there the 15 buses will caravan to the Food Bank warehouse where a squadron of Armed Services Y volunteers will be waiting to unload the food into bins to be sorted and distributed during the holiday season. The food donations at the remaining Vons and Albertsons stores will be picked up by Food Bank vehicles later in the week. For additional Stuff the Bus information, including a list of most needed grocery items, visit the MTS website at or the NCTD website at   

Categories: Local San Diego News