The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Lake Support and Emergency Recovery, Inc. (LASER) to collect food items to meet the immediate needs of Lake County families struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The food drive begins on Saturday, March 28 and will remain active until further notice. The hours for making donations will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily at the following locations:

• North Lake County: First Baptist Church of Umatilla, 550 Hatfield Drive, Umatilla

• Central Lake County: Lake County Jail, 551 West Main Street, Tavares (west end)

• South Lake County: Real Life Church of Clermont, 1501 Steves Road, Clermont

Items being sought include non-perishable foods such as peanut butter, canned meats, canned meals, snack bars, boxed cereal, canned fruits, and canned vegetables, etc. As these items are collected, they will be delivered to local food pantries throughout the county for the immediate distribution to families in need.

This food drive is a collaborative effort between the Sheriff’s Office, LASER, and the aforementioned churches and is being coordinated by Mrs. Tandy Hammond of South Lake Community Ministries. For more information on local food pantries, Mrs. Hammond can be reached at 352-340-1178.

LASER, a non-profit, 501c3 organization, is seeking monetary donations from the community to help with this cause. According to its website, the organization’s mission is to assist in the “…recovery from any disaster through a coordinated community-wide approach which provides for the immediate and long-term unmet needs of our citizens.” Anyone wishing to donate to the organization can do so by visiting its website at . For more information concerning LASER, Mr. Michael Tart can be reached at 352-267-3800.

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