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Milwaukee woman who delivers meals to hungry now without a car due to vandalism

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee woman who delivers meals daily to hungry families and the homeless is now without a car.

She was driving around Wednesday when all of a sudden her car stopped working. After examining the car, she found her gas tank was vandalized.

Monique Bateman says she filed a police report after finding out someone put sugar in her gas tank.  She's upset she won't be able to get meals delivered to those who wait on her every single day.

Bateman understands the struggle of having to feed a family.

“I had ten kids, and it's pretty hard. Six biological and four additions is pretty hard for me, meals just made it a lot easier, so I do it just to lighten the load for people," said Bateman.

On Thursday, Bateman set up a free-meal station on 34th and Locust, since she won't be delivering.

Everyday Bateman delivers hot meals to families and those living on the streets that depend on her. She doesn't know many of their names or how to contact them, but she does know they're waiting.

"It's like a bus stop, they're sitting out there waiting, congregating, killing time, waiting for me to show up," adds Bateman.  

She says it's not the damage to her car she's upset about. It's that dozens are missing a meal.

"They did more damage to the people that I serve than to me personally,” said Bateman. “Because there are a lot of people in the community that depend on this, that's the biggest offset in all of this.”

Experts say sugar in the tank could damage a car's entire fuel system by clogging it up. They say it's a costly fix.

"A super cheap fix would be about $500 to $600 and it can go up from there. The cases that I've done they're all around $900 to $1,200,” said Pablo Ramos, a mechanic for A1 Auto Clinic in Milwaukee.

Ramos says the complete repair could take days, depending on the car.

"You could put people in a really big bind when you do this to another vehicle, it's hard,” said Ramos.

"I'm hoping that people will see me, they know that I'm always out here on the corner with something, so they'll just drive by and see what I have and probably get something to eat,” said Bateman.

This case is still under investigation.

In the meantime, Bateman says she'll try her best to find ways to still do her daily meal delivery.

To help Bateman repair her car and continue her mission, click here

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