Lake County nonprofit helps Hurricane Ian victims with food drive

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LAKE COUNTY, Florida. – Lake County volunteers held a food drive on Wednesday to benefit those affected by the rising waters caused by Hurricane Ian.

The drive-thru food drive took place in the Butler Street Boat Ramp parking lot.

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People and volunteers from Lake Support and Emergency Recovery, Inc. (LASER), a nonprofit organization specializing in disaster relief in Lake County, partnered with Kroger and the County Sheriff’s Office of Lake to help those in need.

“As many know, water from the St. John’s River has flooded the community with record floods in this area, and there has been a dire need for food and water,” Brandi Martin, LASER Executive Director , said.

Martin said Kroger donated three truckloads of food and water to distribute to people in need.

Over 500 families were served during the drive-thru event.

News 6 accompanied volunteers delivering food to families still stuck in high water.

Charles McHugh said he was living on a houseboat, but it was swept away by the hurricane.

“All I have now is in two cars up there, and I have tools here. That’s about it,” McHugh said.

McHugh now stays in a house with his family, although they have still seen the floodwaters.

“(The water) was going through the grates for a little while, and it was up to the second step, beyond the steps and we were good for a little while, but we lost the boat launch. water,” McHugh said.

McHugh said he even had another boat in Daytona Beach, but it’s also now underwater.

“It’s gone down and it probably won’t go back up,” McHugh said. “But everyone is fine, and that’s really what’s important.”

Back at the food drive, a man dropped off food while urging more people to donate in this time of need.

John Roszak said the food came from his church, First Baptist Church in Paisley.

“That’s what we’re made for. We are made to give to each other and help each other, and when you have a neighbor down, you pick them up,” Roszak said.

LASER officials said they want to hold another food drive in the near future to further benefit the community.

Anyone interested in donating to those in need in Lake County can visit the LASER website here.

Check Florida Foodie podcast. You can find each episode in the media player below:

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