Wheels for garden meals

For two years Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County staff and volunteers have used their personal cars and SUVs to haul tools, plants, veggie scraps, produce, dirt, fertilizer and compost around Sheboygan County in order to build and maintain gardens that produce fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs for individuals who receive nutritious homemade meals from the organization. Thanks to the generous donation of a 2000 Chevy Silverado from Van Horn Automotive Group the transporting will be much easier.

Kyle Fale (right), general manager of Sheboygan County Budget Auto, handed the keys to Kelly Heyn, Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County’s CEO.

“It seemed like a distant dream to have a truck that would allow us to haul everything. You would be astounded at how many tools and supplies are going in and out of the gardens on a daily basis. It was a passing conversation that led to a phone call from a friend, an amazing ‘yes’ from Van Horn Automotive, and now we have a truck,” explained Jane Nauschultz, produce manager for Meals On Wheels.

The truck has gone through all safety checks, has 117,300 miles, and has already been used by Meals On Wheels to transport tools, run garden supply errands, pick up materials for the Meals On Wheels orchard and carry multiple yards of mulch.

“Meals On Wheels is a great organization, we are so thankful for the work they do in the community. We want to give back to the same people and community that we live in and this is a great way to do it,” said Dick Strong, president of The Van Horn Automotive Group. “I truly appreciate what you guys do and am glad we can be a small part of it.”

Currently Meals On Wheels manages gardens at Wisconsin Public Service and Ebenezer UCC. The organization also has a partnership with Golden Bear Farm in Kiel. Meals On Wheels donates large bins of fresh produce scraps to the farm which is used to feed the pigs and in turn the organization receives a discount on organic Berkshire pork.

“Having a garden truck dedicated to these tasks not only saves our personal vehicles, but gives us an organized space to keep shovels, trowels, harvest buckets and other garden tools,” Nauschultz said.

“Our mission is simple, to feed nutritious meals the homebound of Sheboygan County with a caring smile. Having our own truck allows us to move produce faster and more efficiently, so that our medically-tailored meals can be made from scratch with the freshest ingredients,” said Heyn. “We are beyond blessed to live in such a great community where companies like The Van Horn Automotive Group jump in to meet a need. Thank you.” Enhancing the quality of living through home-delivered meals and caring social interaction has been the mission of Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County since 1970. Requirements for service are not based on age, but based on the inability to prepare or obtain nutritious meals. There is no waiting list. Meals On Wheels of Sheboygan County continues to serve as a model for other meal programs, across the nation, that want to adopt a local, fresh food approach in their own community.

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