Onslow County's United Way addresses child hunger - Christi Hill Team

Onslow County’s United Way addresses child hunger

CHEW Program

Onslow County’s United Way addresses child hunger

An article in JDNews.com on October 8 reached out to Onslow County NC communities to request assistance in collecting food for schoolchildren when they go home for the weekend. While public schools provide meals for low-income children during the school week through the federal child nutrition program with free or reduced price lunches, these children may go home to bare kitchen cabinets every weekend.

The effort providing food for schoolchildren over the weekend is called The Chew! Program, and the Onslow County United Way sponsors it. The organization’s website explained how and why the program began. The website recounted observations of tell-tale signs of hunger by the staff at Dixon Elementary School. Those signs include stomachaches, focus difficulties, frequent headaches and chronic absences.

As part of its partnership with United Way, JD News is collecting non-perishable food items throughout October. These groceries will fill children’s backpacks every weekend.

Examples of the food being collected include the following:

  • Individual cereal boxes
  • Oatmeal packets
  • Canned soup
  • Peanut butter
  • Spaghetti-o’s/canned raviolis
  • Snack bars and fruit snacks
  • Canned meat/tuna
  • Ramen noodles

United Way’s Shelly Kieweg told JDNews that the most urgently needed items are canned chicken, ramen noodles and individually packaged fruits. For a complete list, of the items the United Way collects, follow the United Way link above.

There is another giving option for anyone wants to contribute financially rather than drop off food. You can make a monetary donation of $9.00 for a “Backpack Buddy” sponsorship covering one weekend.

Bring your food donation to one of these locations:

  • The Daily News, 724 Bell Fork Rd., Jacksonville, during business hours
  • The United Way, 403 N. Bayshore Blvd., Jacksonville

If you prefer to be a “Backpack Buddy”, visit uwonslow.org/CHEW to make your monetary donation. You can also mail a check to:

United Way of Onslow County, P.O. Box 5125, Jacksonville, NC 28540

If you have any questions, call Shelly Kieweg, Community Impact Director, (910) 347-2646.

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