Updated: Apr 5
When you know Jesus, you show Jesus.
That is our vision as a Christian community and one way that we show this is by remaining open and generous. We are committed to sowing generosity because you are a generous congregation. We are committed to showing hospitality to all and sharing what we have for the benefit of Lake County and the Glory of God!
"Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!" Hebrews 13:2 -- this verse emphasizes the importance of showing kindness and hospitality to all, regardless of their background or activity.
At the beginning of the year, we were approached by the board of directors of Lake Cares Food Pantry with a life-giving opportunity. The board of directors wanted our church to help them in their journey of building a 22,000 square feet structure which would allow for a more streamlined process and provide a multitude of other services.
Lake Cares is an independent community food pantry serving Lake County residents with food insecurity. In 2022, they served more than 67,000 people.
Your Session, without hesitation, said yes! and so we agreed to host Lake Cares Food Pantry and their guest and donors on March 30th. This event would officially launch their fundraising campaign. The Church would be in charge of the space, ambiance, audio-visual needs, and the overall set-up of the event. The breakfast was offered by Barnwood BBQ and sponsored by a different organization. Our Church Staff, Pastor, and volunteers helped with chairs and tables and rearranging our Fellowship Hall to accommodate over 140 people who would be arriving for breakfast, fellowship, and extravagant generosity.
Currently, Lake Cares is operating out of a warehouse that can hold 60 pallets of food. Their new location will hold around 460 pallets, seven times the current amount.
Extravagant generosity is right---three local organizations presented Lake Cares with checks. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office donated $50,000, the Mount Dora Community Trust donated $525,000, and The Harper Family Charitable Foundation donated $1.5 million in honor of their late grandfather. Between these and other private donations, the total raised was $3,726,427.
The pantry began in 2008 out of the back of a truck, under the direction of former Executive Director Irene O’Malley.
“We saw how great the need was and important it was to continue this program,” Irene says. “We opened up in the building that was donated to us. I remember us handing out flyers to let people know there was a food pantry around. It grew and grew, but the building didn’t grow with us. That’s why we had to go to satellite sites. Then we didn’t have room to store the food so we rented a warehouse. Now it’s time to move everything under one location and to finally serve all of Lake County properly.”
Although they have a wonderful head start, they haven’t crossed the finish line yet. Lake Cares is still seeking financial help to continue serving the growing need in Lake County. For more information about the pantry, giving or volunteering opportunities, visit