Disaster Food Assistance Program at Via Port Mall for Lake/Sumter Counties

LEESBURG, Fla - The Department of Children and Families (DCF), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will implement the Food for Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program in Lake and Sumter counties to assist individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Irma from September 30 – October 4.

To qualify for the Food for Florida Disaster Food Assistance program, applicants must have lived or worked in one of the counties declared for FEMA Individual Assistance on September 5, and not be receiving food assistance through the regular Food Assistance Program. Additionally, eligible individuals and families must have suffered a disaster-related loss, such as damage to their homes or self-employment property, loss of food, reduction or loss of income, or have incurred other disaster related expenses. 

DCF will provide or mail Electronic Benefits Transfer cards to eligible individuals and families to use at authorized USDA food retailers. The program counts only income and expenses from September 5 through October 4, 2017.

Individuals are encouraged to apply (pre-register) prior to visiting the Food for Florida site. Pre-registration is available on the Food for Florida website

The Food for Florida disaster food assistance program for Lake and Sumter counties will take place:

7 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- DAILY
10401 U.S. Highway 441

CONTACT: David Ocasio
                    Public Information Officer,
                    Department of Children and Families, Central Region
                    (407) 317-7056

**Note: Arrive at main entrance of Via Port Mall on US- 441. The Food for Florida site is located at the former J.C. Penny space on the east side of the Mall.**

Transportation Assistance:

LakeXpress will provide the following bus service to and from the Via Port Mall, 10401 U.S. Hwy. 441 Leesburg, for the Disaster Food Assistance event from Monday, Oct. 2 – Wednesday, Oct. 4.

  1. Normal LakeXpress service to and from the Via Port Mall during the event.
  2. Additional shuttle service to and from Lake Sumter State College (LSSC) to Via Port Mall as follows:
    • Shuttle bus departs LSSC to Via Port - 11:25 a.m., 12:25 p.m., 1:25 p.m., 2:25 p.m.
    • Shuttle bus departs Via Port to LSSC - 12:15 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m.

Please note, the event opens on Saturday, Sept. 30, however LakeXpress busses do not operate on weekends. 


  • $1 each way, $3 for an unlimited day pass, or $8 for a 10-ride pass.
  • Exact change is required. Students with a valid school ID ride free, and seniors and veterans ride for half price with ID.
  • Transfer passes are free for single, one-way trips. Buses are equipped for disabled passengers and also have bicycle racks.
  • Passengers can catch LakeXpress at any regular bus stop. To find out more about LakeXpress, call 352-742-2612 or visit www.ridelakexpress.com.