The firefighters of Eustis, Tavares and Mount Dora will once again face off in a food drive challenge this weekend.
But the departments need the help of their community to claim the title in their second annual challenge.
“It’s a friendly competition where each of the three fire stations will be collecting non-perishable food donations and the one that collects the most will win the trophy and bragging rights,” Chief James Dickerson, of the Lake County Fire Rescue, said. “Of course, Lake Cares is the true winner which will receive all the donations and distribute them to people in need.”
Donations can be dropped off Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tavares Fire Department Station 28, 911 Gateway Dr., Mount Dora Fire Department Station 34, 1300 N Donnelly St., or the Eustis Fire Department Station 22, 100 W Norton Ave.
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Dickerson is the project chairman of the Golden Triangle Rotary Club, the sponsor of the event. The first food drive challenge last year was postponed until January, which became a blessing in disguise.
“We weren’t originally planning for the drive to be in January, but it happened that way,” Dickerson said. “Come to find out, that’s actually when Lake Cares needed it the most because shelves are really bare after the holidays.”
Last year, the fire departments collected around 12,000 pounds of food and Dickerson said they intend to exceed that this year, especial because donations are already coming in.
“Many of the departments have already started receiving donations,” Dickerson said. “The big drop off day will be Saturday and people will have until 2 p.m. to drop off their donations to help their fire department.”
Lake Cares also expressed that they are in need of reusable cloth bags so the fire departments are collecting those as well. Monetary donations will also be accepted.
Eustis came out on top last year with 6,599 pounds of food donated, and currently holds the commemorative winner plaque that will be passed on to this year’s winner. Mount Dora came in second with 2,532 pounds and Tavares brought in 2,390 pounds.
Lake Cares distributes around one million pounds of food each year to Lake County residents.
This article originally appeared on Daily Commercial: Eustis, Tavares, Mount Dora firefighters hosting food drive Saturday