Lake Area Ministries still thriving after 32 years

Food pantry serves the needs of hungry residents in area

By Natalie Gilstrap For Clay Today
Posted 3/30/22

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Lake Area Ministries still is thriving after 32 years of serving.

Lake Area Ministries, also known as LAM, is a food pantry in Keystone Heights. “Lake Area Ministries is …

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Lake Area Ministries still thriving after 32 years

Food pantry serves the needs of hungry residents in area

Posted

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Lake Area Ministries still is thriving after 32 years of serving.

Lake Area Ministries, also known as LAM, is a food pantry in Keystone Heights. “Lake Area Ministries is faith-based and it is supported solely through donations and the majority of the people are volunteers,” said Terri Sapp, a board member.

She continues to say that the volunteers are local pastors and residents who want to help in the community.

The organization was started by three local ladies who saw a need in the community.

“They wanted to stop the hunger in our area,” said board member Billy Jackson.

However, since COVID-19, Lake Area Ministries have changed. Originally the organization was staffed by elderly and retired volunteers.

“Once COVID came, LAM was faced with the possibility of really having to close,” Sapp said.

Fortunately, people in the community helped LAM improve thus allowing them to continue to serve the community through a curbside drop-off. LAM now distributes food twice a month to those in need.

As a nonprofit organization, LAM’s success comes from the support of the community.

“The community supports LAM through monetary donations, food drives, volunteering and by spreading awareness,” Sapp said.

Keystone Lake Area Business Association also known as KLRBA, Am Vets, Clay Electric, Rotary and Lee’s Beverages and Spirits are some of the many organizations or businesses that donate to LAM. The local churches such as Community Church and the Keystone United Methodist Church also supports LAM through food drives and donations from Walmart in Starke, Hitchcock’s, Waste Not Want Not and Winn Dixie.

The need for meals for families is a constant need in LAM.

“If a group or organization wanted to take on doing some sort of specific food drive that would be great,” Sapp said.

Ingredients for spaghetti or mac n cheese are appreciated as they will allow families to make a meal. Also, peanut butter, jelly and cereal are appreciated as these items can last longer.

“We have great support from the local community,” Sapp said, “but we are always happy to receive more.”

Lake Area Miniseries is located 131 NE Commercial Cr. in Keystone Heights. The organization’s phone number is (352) 473-2846.

Checks can be sent to P.O. Box 1385, Keystone Heights, 32656.

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