Mayor Mufi Hannemann laughs with Lillian Tomitagawa after taking a Meals On Wheels dinner to her Honolulu home.
Funds for Lanakila provide meals and more
In this season for giving thanks, Lanakila Meals on Wheels would like to thank the state, county and caring individuals and businesses in the community for working collaboratively to meet the needs of our elderly population.
We appreciate the Legislature passing and the governor signing Senate Bill 1916, which appropriates funds for fiscal year 2008 for the extension of the Joint Legislative Committee on Family Caregiving and various aging services and initiatives. We are grateful to Gov. Linda Lingle and the state Executive Office on Aging for recently releasing $750,000 for elderly programs, of which $475,000 will be used to expand Kupuna Care, a program that provides a financial safety net for frail and vulnerable seniors in need throughout Hawaii. These funds will be distributed to each county.
We would also like to express our appreciation to Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who has always been supportive of Lanakila Meals on Wheels, along with the Elderly Affairs Division of the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Community Services, who continue to work attentively in allocating funds to providers who support vital elderly services.
Lanakila Meals on Wheels is the only islandwide meal delivery program, serving our neediest homebound seniors in low-income and rural areas on the island. It is a partnership program, with a blend of funding from government (60 percent); private donations and grants (21 percent); Lanakila's social venture, Xpress Chefs Catering (12 percent); and a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant (8 percent).
We deeply appreciate all segments of the community and government working together to address the challenge Hawaii faces as the state with the highest longevity rate and fastest-growing senior population in the nation. Kupuna Care services help older adults maintain their independence with dignity -- it might be your grandparent, neighbor, parent or someone else close to you, but each person has touched the lives of others in innumerable ways.
Lanakila Meals on Wheels is grateful to be part of a community that supports each other in times of hardship and honors those who came before us -- our kupuna.
Indeed, we have much to be thankful for.
Marian Tsuji is president and CEO of Lanakila, a nonprofit organization.