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$485,000 grant funds food service for seniors


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POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2009

Hawaii's needy senior citizens will have a better chance of getting enough to eat because of a $485,000 grant to the state for senior nutritional aid through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“;The federal funding provides assistance for Hawaii seniors to maintain their health and independence, and helps service providers deal with rising expenses and escalating demand,”; U.S. Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye and Sen. Daniel Akaka said in a joint statement.

“;These funds will also increase the number of meals available to seniors, a vital lifeline for many during these challenging economic times.”;

The Executive Office on Aging in the state Health Department will receive the money and allocate it to the area agency on aging in each county, which will in turn solicit proposals for funding from service providers, said Director Noemi Pendleton.

The grant allocates $160,000 for home-delivered meals and $325,000 for group nutrition programs, such as those provided at senior centers.

The money will be welcomed by Meals on Wheels programs, which have struggled financially to ensure that homebound residents do not go hungry. Supporters recently rallied at the Capitol to alert the public to the increasing demand by isle seniors for home-delivered meals because of the economic downturn.