United Way of Onslow asking for donations for new CHEW van

The program delivers meals to over 800 kids while they’re out of school, but the current van, program directors say, is dangerous and on its way out.
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 4:23 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A major area non-profit needs your help to get around.

The United Way of Onslow County’s CHEW, or Children Healthy Eating on Weekends, program is in desperate need for a new van.

The program delivers over 800 meals to children while they’re not in school, and their van is the best, and their only, option to deliver the meals effectively.

“We use the van not only for the deliveries to the schools, but also, and mainly, to pick up the donations that are donated by the community,” said Program Director Shelly Kieweg.

Their current van is about 15 years old, according to program directors, and is rusting, overheats and has bad brakes. Overall, they say, it’s just not a safe option for delivering meals.

Their fundraising goal is $35,000. So far, they have raised about 10% of that, according to program directors.

“If we did not have the CHEW van, we would not be able to pick up the donations and deliver the CHEW bags,” said United Way Finance Director Lisa Heavilin. “Our personal vehicles only get us so far.”

A major expense to solve a major problem, directors said, of children who are constantly looking for their next meal.

“I was that child, so I know what it’s like to be hungry,” said Kieweg. “I just don’t want these children to feel that pain and hunger. So, I want this program to be successful, but it can’t be successful with this van.

If you’re interested in donating, visit their GoFundMe page here.

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