JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – An Onslow County non-profit is seeking help for a new food donation van. United Way of Onslow County’s CHEW Program said their current van is essential for picking up and delivering donations.
CHEW stands for Children Healthy Eating on Weekends. The current van they use helps give meals to over 800 children in Onslow County.
“Every weekend during the school year and then we have schools that are in the program over the summer. We normally average about 800-900 students every single week,” said Community Impact Director for United Way of Onslow County Shelly Kieweg. “There’s twelve items that go in the bag.”
Over seven years ago, CHEW received the current van as a donation. Now it has just under 300,000 miles on it.
“It’s scary,” said Kieweg. “Every time I get into this CHEW van, I’m literally putting my life into the CHEW van’s hands.”
It has a range of problems from bad breaks, no heat or air, broken doors and battery issues.
“The air conditioning doesn’t work,” said Kieweg. “The heater doesn’t work. It’s literally falling apart. The back doesn’t close all the way. I’m so afraid that I’m going to have donations in the back of this van, and the doors are going to open wide open and everything’s going to fall out.”
Their goal is to reach 35,000 dollars for a new van before the start of the school year, when their program is the busiest.
“We use this van, everywhere, all the time,” said Kieweg. “So, we use it to pick up donations, we use it to deliver donations. We use it when we have food drives.”
Kieweg explains what this new van would mean to the program.
“It’s going to mean I’m not dying every time I get into this van,” said Kieweg. “It’s huge. It’s the most essential thing that we need right now in order to keep this program successful.”
CHEW is currently halfway to its goal as of right now from their GoFundMe and donations sent to their main office. Kieweg says every bit helps.
“Any little bit is going to help, every little bit makes a difference, letting other people know about it is going to help, so if you aren’t able to donate, please just share it so that person that you reach out to, they might be able to help,” said Kieweg.