Friday, March 13, 2009

Marching to support seniors meals in Hawaii

An annual march to call attention to hungry seniors took place in Hawaii yesterday.

The Lanakila Meals on Wheels helps what is a very poor senior population on the island. The average senior in Hawaii only has an income of $19,000 dollars.

From the Honolulu Advertiser, reporter Dan Nakaso attended the event. Video of the march follows our snippet.

More than 300 senior citizens, children and others carrying signs reading "End Senior Hunger" and "Our Kupuna Need You" marched from Honolulu Hale to the state Capitol yesterday to raise awareness about the elderly who rely on the state's biggest food program for seniors on O'ahu, Lanakila Meals on Wheels.

Yesterday marked the seventh annual march and came at a time when Lanakila Meals on Wheels has a waiting list of 300 names, with more added every day, said Brandon Mitsuda, the program's deputy director.

Maria Loa, 83, of Waikiki, has participated in every march and has been receiving Meals on Wheels for six years.

The meal delivery to Loa once a day "really, really, really, really, really helps," she said. "It means a lot."

While donations are badly needed, Mitsuda said, Lanakila also needs hundreds of volunteers for a variety of jobs, including helping with 19 Kupuna Wellness Centers and delivering food to hundreds of senior citizens across O'ahu.

Last year, Lanakila served more than 250,000 meals to seniors "while food costs are ever-rising and government funding remains flat," Mitsuda said.

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