Growing Illinois Valley Food Pantry needs larger facility, turns to LaSalle for help

Photo Illinois Valley Food Pantry

LASALLE – The Illinois Valley Food Pantry has seen an increased need in the community for assistance throughout LaSalle and other towns, but the building they took over in 2018 is already getting cramped. Executive Director Mary Jo Credi said that the 4500 square foot building on Wright Street has become too small for what the operation has grown into. The 13 staff and volunteers have to try to make the best use of donated food, especially perishibles whenever possible, but with limited cold storage, they find themselves donating their excess to places like Horizon House, Pads, Meals on Wheels and others. LaSalle Mayor Jeff Grove said a request was sent to the finance committee who will hopefully come back with a recommendation. The pantry has gained 252 new clients in the last year, with 12 new this month alone.

“The volunteers we have and the staff we have are great and knowledgeable and dedicated to helping the people in need – our community has been absolutely wonderful” Credi said Wednesday.

Photo Illinois Valley Food Pantry

The Illinois Valley Food Pantry has one van they use for deliveries to those who qualify, specifically the elderly and phyisically disabled, and one board member has volunteered their private vehicle for use, but according to Credi, it isn’t enough. “I’m having to tell people they have to find a way to get to our location, we just don’t have a way to get all the food delivered”

The Illinois Valley Food Pantry is accepting monetary donations at their location, 122 Wright St. in LaSalle.