Who We Are

We’re a small and mighty team who gives all that we can to the Pantry and our clients.

We are an independent community food pantry governed by a Board of Directors comprised of representatives from local businesses and residents who care about our mission. We provide food and other necessary items directly to the people who need assistance in Lake County, Florida. We could not do what we do without the support of a generous community and guidance of the Second Harvest Food Bank, who primarily acts as the storehouse for millions of pounds of food and other products distributed to Central Florida food pantries.

In 2020 we served 61,138 individuals, with approximately 65% being senior and disabled clients. We also distributed over 25,000 pounds of food each week.

We have three full-time staff and six part-time staff members plus 200 trained, active volunteers.

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Did You Know?

On average it takes 60 to 70 pounds of food to serve one family of four for three days (3 meals per day)!

Give Us a Wave If You See Us Driving Around Town!

Lake Cares Truck Left Side
Lake Cares Truck Right Side

Meet Our Staff

Irene O'Malley

Irene O'Malley

Executive Director

irene.lakecares@gmail.com

Learn more about Irene...

Starting with Lake Cares in 2009 as a volunteer, she became Executive Director in 2010. Irene handles all upper management responsibilities, grant applications, and community outreach.

Becky Carter

Becky Carter

Assistant Director

becky.lakecares@gmail.com

Learn more about Becky...

Becky is responsible for all volunteer scheduling, correspondence, reports, and coordinates our community food drives.

Carly Sayles

Carly Sayles

Pantry Manager

carly.lakecares@gmail.com

Learn more about Carly...

Carly oversees daily pantry operation, places all food orders and is in charge of inventory control distribution.

Florence Codding

Florence Codding

Office Manager

florence.lakecares@gmail.com

Learn more about Florence...

Office managers handle all emergency food requests, data entry, and phone inquiries. 

Debbie Christian

Debbie Christian

Office Manager

debbie.lakecares@gmail.com

Learn more about Debbie...

Office managers handle all emergency food requests, data entry, and phone inquiries.

Tim Engle

Tim Engle

Logistics Manager

timothy.lakecares@gmail.com

Learn more about Tim...

Tim is in charge of co-coordinating the pick-up of product from retail stores and food drives.

Ruthie Haffner

Ruthie Haffner

Director of Development

ruthie.lakecares@gmail.com

Learn more about Ruthie...

Ruthie handles special events, food drives, legacy and donor requests 

Meet Our Board

Cathy Hoechst

Cathy Hoechst

President

Mayor of Mount Dora

Learn more about Cathy...

Cathy Hoechst has lived, worked and volunteered in Mount Dora for 35 years. Previously she was an executive for Orlando Health and then President of the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce. She has served on Mount Dora city council as council woman, vice mayor and is currently the elected Mayor.

Heather McPherson

Heather McPherson

Vice President

Food Columnist

Learn more about Heather...

Heather McPherson is a former food editor, restaurant reviewer and multimedia journalist for the Orlando Sentinel. She handles press and media for the Millennium Management Group. Millennium owns and operates restaurants and entertainment complexes across the United States. The author of three cookbooks, she has co-written five others and edited three cookbooks.

Jack McMullen

Jack McMullen

Treasurer

Lawyer, Gray Robinson

Learn more about Jack...

Jack McMullen is an attorney with Gray Robinson, P.A. in Orlando, practicing in the areas of corporate, securities, and mergers & acquisitions law.  Jack has been a member of the Lake Cares board since moving to Mount Dora in 2018, and also serves as its Treasurer.  He believes strongly in the pantry’s mission, and enjoys giving back to those in need in the Lake County community.

Julie Ridaught Manning

Julie Ridaught Manning

Secretary

United Southern Bank

Learn more about Julie...

Julie Manning, Administrative Assistant at United Southern Bank and serves as the treasurer for Lake Cares. “I love helping families in our community who truly need it most.”

Jeanette Bokland

Jeanette Bokland

Board Member

Spouses With Houses

Learn more about Jeanette...

Jeanette Bokland is the Broker and co-owner of Spouses with Houses Realty in Mount Dora.  A nurse in her early career, she has been fortunate enough to live in Australia and travel extensively through developing countries.  Both of those experiences have created a keen awareness in the importance of humanitarianism and citizenship.  She is very proud to be a part of Lake Cares, a significant service to our community.

Darryl Owens

Darryl Owens

Board Member

Beacon College

Learn more about Darryl...

Darryl E. Owens serves as director of communication at Beacon College. Prior to that, Owens worked for 25 years as a general assignment reporter, lifestyle writer, and later columnist and editorial writer at the Orlando Sentinel.

Ed Rizzo

Ed Rizzo

Board Member

The Villages News

Learn more about Ed...

 Ed Rizzo is a marketing and media specialist who currently works for The Villages Media Group and The Daily Sun newspaper. A graduate of West Virginia University Ed has been a member of the Lake Care Advisory Board for over ten years, serves on three other non-profit advisory boards. In his spare time he is a part-time sports official and loves to ski, golf and garden.

Chuck Babbino

Chuck Babbino

Board Member

Real Life Church of Mount Dora

Learn more about Chuck...

Chuck Babbino is the Campus Pastor at Real Life Christian Church in Mount Dora. Chuck is involved with Lake Cares because meeting physical needs and combatting hunger is part of what living out the ways of Jesus looks like.  

Peter Marini

Peter Marini

Board Member

Triangle Bingo

Learn more about Peter...

Peter Marini Owner/operator of Triangle Bingo for over 25 years. He raises funds for more than 25 local charities monthly.

Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith

Board Member

 

Learn more about Sharon...

Sharon Smith is a Sales, Marketing & Business Development Executive with extensive experience working for Fortune 50 companies. She is currently a Consultant for the Small Business Development Counsel at UCF (SBDC) and resides in Mount Dora with her husband, Greg.

John Pease IV

John Pease IV

Board Member

First National Bank of Mount Dora

Learn more about John...

John Pease IV – Born and raised in Lake County, John heads up the Trust Department at The First National Bank of Mount Dora.  He is also the current Chair of the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce and Trustee of a number of local foundations and charities like the Mount Dora Community Trust and the W.T. Bland Jr. Charitable Trust.  Lake Cares has such a huge impact in our community, John was thrilled when asked to be a part of the team.

Monica Wofford

Monica Wofford

Board Member

CEO United Way of Lake and Sumter County

Learn more about Monica...

Monica Wofford serves as the CEO of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties, as well as the CEO of her own Leadership Training firm, Contagious Companies. She is a 20+ year Lake County resident.

Michelle Villari

Michelle Villari

Board Member

G3 Development

Learn more about Michelle...

Michelle Villani is Executive Assistant for G3 Development. “I am a Lake Cares Board Member because I want to use my time and skills to support the cause I care about.”

Pastor Bobby Rowe

Pastor Bobby Rowe

Board Member

Saving Faith Baptist Church

Learn more about Pastor Bobby...

Bobby Rowe pastors the Saving Faith Baptist Church in Mount Dora and the Executive Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Willie Hawkins

Willie Hawkins

Board Member

Commissioner, City of Eustis

Learn more about Willie...

Willie Hawkins is a longtime resident of Eustis, Florida and currently serves as a City of Eustis Commissioner.  Willie has spent the majority of his life dedicated to public service. He has recently retired as a Supervisory Special Agent who served over twenty-six years with the Department of Justice. Willie is a US military veteran having served in the US Air Force. He is actively involved in the Eustis community where he volunteers and supports youth education, sports, and music. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Saint Leo’s University.