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Bob and Julie Bennett were named the May 2016 Gem of the Hills by the South Lake Chamber of Commerce at the Chamber's monthly breakfast recently. The Bennetts were honored for their work at the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry at the Montverde United Methodist Church.

The Bennetts started the food pantry in a storage closet at the church in 2009 to help members of the local community in need. Over the years, the food pantry has grown, and in April, they served over 29,000 pounds of food which helped 79 households and 399 individuals in need.

In addition to running the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, the Bennetts work together with the church to provide Christmas gifts, school supplies, clothes, and any additional necessities throughout the year to those in need.

When they do take a day off, Bob enjoys fixing grandfather clocks, cooking and watching NASCAR, and Julie enjoys playing the piano and guitar, and spending time with family and friends. The Bennetts have one son, three dogs, eight birds, one ferret and two fish.

The South Lake Chamber of Commerce began as the Clermont Chamber of Commerce in February 1922, when it absorbed its forerunner, the Board of Trade. In 1996, several Lake County chambers of commerce merged to create the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, which has become the collective voice of the business community. For more information about the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, please visit

Bob and Julie Bennett honored by the South
Lake Chamber as the May 2016 Gems of the Hills
Bob and Julie Bennett receive their Gem of the Hills award from Kalena Meyers, the chair of the Chamber's Community Relations committee. From left to right, Kalena Meyers, Julie Bennett, Bob Bennett. (Courtesy photo)
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