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The Food Pantry has been in Wildwood and assisting those in need for 24 years. In 2003, operating from the Sunset Park Church of God, the pantry became part of the United Way's Human Care Network of Lake and Sumter Counties. The Wildwood Food Pantry moved to its current home at the Wildwood United Methodist Church, 300 North Old Wire Street, in May 2005. Volunteers from area churches and our communities operate and support the food pantry. It is an ALL Volunteer organization; there are no paid positions.
The Wildwood Food Pantry is open to eligible recipients for three hours on the 1st & 3rd Fridays of each month, but emergency distribution is sometimes needed and can be arranged. Each day that the Food Pantry is open, it provides healthful food to families in Wildwood, Coleman, Oxford, and other North Sumter County areas. A Salvation Army representative is also on hand on the days the pantry is open to assist people with their rent, utilities, etc.
People eligible to receive these food supplements are carefully screened and must live in northern Sumter County. Those eligible are families/people who are on food stamps, on Medicaid, live in public housing (funded by municipal, county, state or federal governments), receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or meet income guidelines for receiving assistance through Florida's Emergency Food Assistance Program.
The food that is distributed on these two days of the month comes from regular ongoing food drives at Hope Lutheran Church and New Covenant United Methodist Church. There are also semi-annual drives at the First Baptist Church in The Villages, the Fairway Christian Church, and food drives like ours. The annual Seeds of Hope drive held in The Villages area in the Spring also provides a good source of donated food and funds. The rest of the food is purchased from area food banks and local supermarkets.
The Wildwood Food Pantry also partners with The Salvation Army's Human Care Network Food Distribution Program and The United Way of Sumter and Lake Counties, which allows Pantry coordinators to receive funds and purchase needed food from area food banks and food markets.
The Food Pantry also gratefully accepts monetary donations. Please help those less fortunate. Monetary donations may be sent to:
For more information or to learn how else you can help, email Pantry Coordinator Don Huggins (click on link to copy email address) or call 352-753-7901.