Thieves steal, smash vegetables from Sheboygan's Meals on Wheels program

By Heather Sawaski, Local 5 News

Published 08/25 2014 05:48PM

Updated 08/25 2014 07:12PM

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WFRV) - Vegetables were smashed and stolen from a garden run by Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County. Now leaders need to take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The program is a first of its kind.

"Sometimes it can be the whole meal. Sometimes it might be a portion of it," explained Angela Meyer, Food Services Director.

Since 2012, Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County grows, cleans and prepares its own produce for nearly 300 meals served every day.

"On average," said Meyer. "We probably have anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds of something being used per day."

Most of it comes from right down the street. The community garden was built last spring by volunteers.

"We put a lot of heart and soul into the development of this garden," said Julia Hollister, board member.

But a recent rash of theft and vandalism is raising concerns. A large amount of produce was stolen last weekend. Then Monday morning, more vegetables were found smashed on the road.

"You're trying to heighten the level of what we do daily," said Meyer. "And for somebody to take that away from you, it really affects everyone of us because we care so deeply about this program and our clients deserve everything we do for them."

Now the group dependant on donations and volunteer efforts needs to come up with even more money for security.

"Very disappointing that we have to spend money on a security system instead of being able to put the money where we'd like it to go," added Hollister. "For the cooking of the food and the developing and the harvesting of the food."

Security options include installing cameras or fencing. But no matter what they choose, it will cost thousands of dollars they don't yet have.

Copyright Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.