Lions Club’s youth group donates food to Community Resource Center, rehabs food pantry

 Encinitas Lions Club  Leos
From left, Anthony Esquibel, Encinitas Lions Club vice president and Leos adviser, with Leos Club members Armand Martinez, Piper Bailey and Bianca Miller, shop for food at Ralphs in Encinitas to donate to the Community Resource Center.

Members of the Encinitas-Carlsbad Leos Club, a youth program, which is part of the Encinitas Lions Club, donated more than $1,000 of food items to the Encinitas Community Resource Center


The Encinitas-Carlsbad Leos Club, a youth program of the Encinitas Lions Club, donated more than $1,000 of food items to the Encinitas Community Resource Center, aka CRC. The youths from the Leos Club went food shopping recently to buy the items that the center needs to serve folks in need in the community.

The youths from the club also are working on rehabbing the CRC pantry and adding new shelving to hold more food, so the additional donated nonperishables can be stored. Once the pantry is built out, the Encinitas-Carlsbad Leos will help with sorting and packaging food items to gift to needy families in the area.

The Encinitas-Carlsbad Leos Club applied for a $1,000 matching grant from the California Lions Foundation earlier this spring and the grant was awarded to the Leos to support a local food drive project. The Leos members chose the Encinitas Community Resource Center for their project.

The $1,000 grant was matched by a donation from the Encinitas Lions Club, raising a total of $2,000 for the Leos to fund the CRC food drive with a gift of $1,000 in groceries and a donation check for $1,000 to aid the Encinitas CRC in building out its food pantry.

The youths got the idea for the project when they heard that folks in the community, including homeless families living in cars, were in need of food.

“The kids were on fire and worked hard to make the project happen,” said Rachel White, Encinitas Lions Club president.

Last month, the Encinitas-Carlsbad Leos Club led their first Lions Club San Diego County District wide multi-Leos Club 5K virtual walk/run. This fundraiser raised over $5,000 for San Diego County Leos Clubs to purchase and donate personal protective equipment for essential workers at several sites throughout San Diego.

The Encinitas-Carlsbad Leos Club (LEO stands for leadership, excellence, opportunity) is open to students ages 12 to 18. Club members develop leadership skills and serve the community. Membership in the youth program is free.

— Linda McIntosh is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune