In conjunction with the annual March for Meals event held today at the State Capitol, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the release of $280,000 in capital improvement grant funds to Lanakila Pacific for its Lanakila Meals on Wheels program, a Kupuna Care provider that delivers more than 2,000 meals each week to Hawaii's older adults in need.
Kupuna Care is a state-funded, county-administered program that provides basic services to frail older adults who can't live at home without assistance. Services include home-delivered meals, personal care, help with chores and transportation assistance. These services provide an important safety net designed to help our elders live independently with dignity, preventing more costly care.
Lanakila Meals on Wheels is a program of Lanakila Pacific, a Hawaii-based nonprofit celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Lanakila Pacific's programs and social enterprises currently serve more than 2,300 Oahu and Kauai residents annually with programs that build life skills, which in turn support our greater community.
"These capital improvement grant funds will help Lanakila Pacific to substantially build capacity for Lanakila Meals on Wheels, which aids kupuna throughout Oahu, while providing additional training opportunities for people with disabilities to reach their full potential for independence," Gov. Abercrombie said.
Identified by the state Legislature, this project includes repairs and renovations to buildings, security, and kitchen and food service operations, as well as the purchase of equipment to address health and safety.
"In addition, we recognize that Hawaii's kupuna are living longer. We have expanded services and closed loopholes for Medicaid beneficiaries. Our executive budget request is also asking the Legislature to nearly double the Kupuna Care budget for services, currently at $4.85 million, by an additional $4.2 million and make it permanent," the Governor added.