Slaatte strives to feed the people

Sheree Silverwood/Staff Reporter
Rev. Mark Slaatte welcomes Reynolds area residents with open arms.

A new food pantry has opened at the Reynolds United Methodist Church. The grand opening of the food pantry was in October, and they hope to be open at least twice each month, with the dates for December being the 3rd and 17th.

Rev. Mark Slaatte said he's simply "doing what's right". He said that statistics show that one in eight children goes to school hungry every day, and rural communities are especially affected. He had previously started successful food pantries in Broadlands and Ogden, both located near Champaign.

Slaatte started the food pantry with no money at all. He has received assistance from the River Bend Food Bank, the church and the community. In one month, $700 in cash and a substantial amount of food has been raised from a car wash, a memorial donation from a local family, and a concert at the Reynolds American Legion.

Toni Colley of Reynolds was visiting the food pantry for the first time. She works for the Rock Island school district as a Pre-K teacher, and is raising her three children and also a grandson. She said she's extremely thankful that the food pantry is available to help her make ends meet.

"Teachers don't make a lot of money," Toni said. "By the time I pay for fuel for my vehicle, rent and utilities, there's hardly anything left."

One point that was stressed by everyone at the food pantry was that people should make sure that getting any prescription medications they may be on should be at the top of their list.

"Get your medicines first, then come visit us at the food pantry and let us help you." said Rev. Slaate.

The Reynolds food pantry is located at the United Methodist Church, 313 Edgington St., Reynolds. If you have questions, or would like to make a donation, please contact Rev. Mark Slaatte at 309-372-8831.