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Lake Cares is a needs-based organization whose goals are to feed the body, educate the mind, and lift the spirit of all individuals. The main focus of Lake Cares is the operation of a food pantry that serves those who find themselves in need of emergency food.
Lake Cares Food Pantry primarily provides its services to the Mount Dora, Eustis, and Tavares areas of Lake County, FL. However, no person is denied services because of their geographic location.
While food donations are certainly a welcomed and vital necessity to our operation we are able to take financial donations and purchase the food required for the holiday meals. A food drive will provide a mixture of many items, however if we have no canned vegetables then we will need to purchase this item. Lake Cares has a coupon program in place that enables us to take donated coupons and optimize our purchasing power with our local grocery partners. Lake Cares also purchases food from Second Harvest Food Bank. Therefore, as you can see, the buying power of a financial donation is far greater than the direct food donation. However, both are vital to our success.
As a new service provider our main focus is on the distribution of food to those in need. However, it is one of the goals of Lake Cares to provide a hand up and not simply a hand out. Lake Cares is assisting families and individuals to achieve economic self-sufficiency and is managing emerging community needs. The services that are provided are:
- Food distribution day dedicated to Seniors and the Disabled.
- Enroll clients needing SNAP (food stamps).
- Food distribution to all clients.
- Referrals to other agencies are made daily.
The application interviewer has an opportunity to personally visit with each client and assess their needs. Through this process we are able to refer the individual to other agencies and help them in any way possible. Lake Cares is also a processing site for SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program - previously known as 'food stamps'). Individuals are able to come to Lake Cares and apply for assistance through our partnership with the Department of Children and Families. Lake Cares also hosts a self-sufficient container gardening program that teaches our clients how to grow some of their own food.
- Cathy Sleaford
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