Members of W.I.N. 1 Ministries in Eustis put their faith into action by opening a food pantry seven months ago, and the most recent event served more than 300 people from all parts of Lake County.

“I’m so excited about this ministry,” Pastor Renee Hill said. “We collect money throughout the month to purchase food from Second Harvest in Orlando and fill boxes to distribute to anyone who comes in. We provide everything from canned food, bread, fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.”

September's event helped people from seven different cities in the area, many of which were lined up at the door waiting for the pantry to open. Based on family size, volunteers pack a box with food and then carry it out to the person's vehicle.

“These people constantly inspire me to give more,” Hill said. “There was one young girl who walked here carrying her baby and had a toddler in a stroller. She didn’t have any transportation, but we helped her pack that stroller full of food for her family.”

For Geraldine Hoy, the ministry's help came just in time.

“I can’t express what it means to have this generous donation,” she said. “I’m on a fixed income and somehow I have to provide for my family. Thankfully there are good people here who are willing to help me out.”

There are about 14 volunteers who work the pantry each month, all ready to do their part in helping the community. Hill said its the glean in a child’s eye and the tears mothers cry that keep her going each month.

“This is the epitome of love,” she said. “We have genuine people who are selflessly working for others that they do not know. But that moment when someone is truly thankful for our service, that’s what keeps us going.”

Plans are already in the works for the holiday season, where Hill hopes to give away 300 to 500 turkeys to families in need. And as the pantry grows, Hill said she is praying to go from helping 300 people a month to 3,000.

“I believe God will bless our efforts as we do our part,” she said. “We truly just want to have a servant’s heart.”

W.I.N. 1 Ministries, 612 S. Bay St. in Eustis, is open the third Tuesday of the month. For information, go to www.win1ministries.com or call 352-589-0035.