PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)- Escot Charter Buses are usually busy this time of year but COVID-19 has caused them to reroute.
“We would mostly be doing school field trips,” said Brian Scott, President of Escot Bus Lines. “We have 72 vehicles and of those 72, we have 8 that are operating right now. It has been devastating to our business, March, April and May are the busiest time of year for us. We have all these beautiful motor coaches here with no passengers to carry.”
Instead, the massive buses will be used to collect food donations.
“Folks can come by here, bring their donations, put them here, they don’t have to touch anything so it’s totally social distance,” said Scott.
The drive-through food drive will allow the public to pull up to Escot’s Largo location and leave nonperishable food items on the rear door opening of the bus.
Brent Stancil, pastor of Community Bible Church, will have one of the charter buses parked outside of the Pinellas Park house of worship on Tuesday.
“We know people will have some struggles, and we thought we could do something to make sure they are eating and the kids are taken care of,” said Stancil. “This isn’t the end of the world, we will survive this and come through it. This is just one way we can partner with folks in our community to do something during this crazy, crazy time.”
And if you miss the bus, a drop box will be placed outside of Delma’s Flower Booth in St. Pete.
“They can drive by and drop the food in the box. People are already going to the store to get what they need, just pick up a few items and donate those things,” said Stephanie Anderson, Owner of Delma’s Flower Booth.
Anderson tells WFLA.com they are also encouraging the public to organize donations within their neighborhoods.
“If neighborhoods want to organize a drop off location… they can collect that food or non-perishable items, they can drop them off at one of the three areas we have designated or they can call Delma’s, Escot or Community Bible Church and we will arrange for a pick up,” said Anderson.
The food drive will run until Friday. All donations will be distributed to food insecure families on Saturday, just in time for Easter.
“We will do it now, do it again and do it as long as the community needs us to do it,” said Scott.
Escot Bus Lines and Delma’s Flower Booth will accept donations Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Community Bible Church will accept donations on Tuesday from 6 pm to 8 pm.
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