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Colona community fighting to keep food pantry open

COLONA, Illinois - A community is fighting to keep a food pantry open. The city of Colona just had properties appraised as a way to generate money. One property is home to the building that houses the food pantry

It's something that's near and dear to Janice Miller's heart, "I just don`t want to go down there someday and be locked out of that building, these people need that food pantry."

Miller, who's director of the food pantry, along with a room full of people came to city hall to fight against a plan to sell the building housing the Colona Food Pantry.

The city says there's been no decision yet nor any discussion to sell the food pantry.

"It's merely a fact of we were questioned and told that we owned too many buildings and the city council chose to get appraisal as to whether or not there were even worth selling at this point," said Mayor Rick Lack.

However, some aren't buying it.

"I feel like if you're going to spend 800 dollars per building to have an appraisal you're thinking of doing something," said Miller.

The pantry doesn't have to pay rent to the city and relies on donations and volunteers to help serve 200 families in need.

"Especially for someone who`s on food stamps, social security and disabled it's not like I can go out and get a job this is just wrong," said one person from the public.

The city says it has to look at every option possible, especially when budgets are tight.

"We`re just looking at all the options and trying to make an informed decision as to what the properties are worth and what the city council would want to do with them," said Mayor Lack.

Miller says the families served by the food pantry shouldn't take the fall for the city's financial issues.

"We got to take care of the people. We got to rethink hunger because it`s never going away," said Miller.

The appraisals have been done, but Mayor Lack says those numbers haven't been given to the city yet and he's not sure when the city will receive them.

Mayor Lack also added if the discussion does come up to possibly sell the food pantry he says the food pantry will be part of that discussion.