January 22, 2024

Fire Stations To Compete in 4th Annual Food Drive Challenge

1.6 min read| Published On: January 22nd, 2024|

By Cindy Peterson

Fire Stations To Compete in 4th Annual Food Drive Challenge

1.6 min read| Published On: January 22nd, 2024|

The Tri-City Fire Department Food Drive Challenge is Saturday, January 27,  between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Members of the public may drop off donations of non-expired canned goods and dry foods or cash/check contributions at one of three local fire department locations. The participating stations are Eustis FD Station 22 at 100 W. Norton Ave., Mount Dora FD Station 34 at 1300 N. Donnelly St., and Tavares FD Station 28 at 911 Gateway Dr. The Rotary Club of Lake County Golden Triangle has coordinated the annual event since its inaugural in 2021.

All donations go to the Lake Cares Food Pantry. The nonprofit organization provides food and other necessities directly to people in need in Lake County. In 2022, the pantry served over 67,000 individuals and oversaw the weekly distribution of more than 25,000 pounds of food. The charity distributes food from their main pantry location in Mount Dora as well as seven additional sites throughout the county.

“While encouraging a friendly rivalry among fire departments, the primary goal is to collect as much food as possible for the food pantry,” said Jim Dickerson, former Chief of Lake County Fire Rescue and the Rotary’s Community Service Chair and President Elect. “After a surge in collections and distribution during the holidays, Lake Cares has to replenish food supplies because the needs of local children and adults continue to be immense,” he added. 

Last year during the four hours, the three fire departments gathered a total donation of 6,312 pounds of food and $9,196 in cash contributions for the pantry. “We’re certain that the Mount Dora and Tavares fire departments will be inspired by the previous successes of Eustis over the past three years,” he said. The Eustis department, in partnership with Lake Technical College, has collected the most food and monetary contributions every year to date.

Lake Cares advises checking food for expiration dates. The following food items are priorities: pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned meats, fish – such as tuna, salmon, and chicken – soups, shelf-stable milk, baked beans, beans, chili, baby food, fresh produce and fruit, as well as non-food items such as shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, laundry and dish detergents, and diapers for babies and adults. For a more detailed list, go to the Lake Cares website.

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About the Author: Cindy Peterson

Originally from the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, Cindy has become a multimedia specialist in journalism, photography, videography and video editing.

She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Central Arkansas and is a correspondent for The Daily Commercial, LakeFront TV and Beacon College’s PBS talk show, “A World of Difference,” where she received an Anthem Award and Telly Award.

When she isn’t working, Cindy spends time with her husband, Ryan, and son, David, traveling and taking photos of landscapes and wildlife.

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