Lanakila Meals on Wheels launches new volunteer challenge - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lanakila Meals on Wheels launches new volunteer challenge

A non-profit organization in need of a boost just kicked off a new challenge. Lanakila Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver food to senior citizens on Oahu.

Hanakia Tui's family is on a tight budget. She's grateful that Lanakila Meals on Wheels provides her elderly mother with healthy food to eat.

"She's 86 years old and just recently had a stroke so she's immobile and I've had to quit my job to stay at home and be a full-time caregiver for her," explained Tui.

"The senior population is growing by leaps and bounds, particularly here in Hawaii, so we want to make sure that seniors are supported and are able to age in place," said Marian Tsuji, president of Lanakila Pacific.

Lanakila Pacific serves close nearly 1,200 kupuna a month through its home delivery service and group dining program. The non-profit desperately needs volunteer drivers, especially during the workweek.

"Right now we have a wait list of over 100 people so even though we have seniors in the program and need volunteers, we also need the funding to support those in need," said Meals on Wheels director Lyn Moku.

The agency just launched its Adopt a Route Volunteer Challenge. Hawaii News Now became the first group to take part, reaching out to dozens of senior citizens on Saturday. Lanakila Pacific hopes other organizations will sign up.

"Hopefully, they take up the challenge and they pick up other routes and help the volunteers and give the volunteers a day off," said Mark Platte, news director of Hawaii News Now.

For those on the receiving end, the visit is about so much more than just a meal.

"For some of these seniors, they're isolated, they're homebound, they're not able to get out very easily and so when they have a visitor coming in to check in on them, give them a healthy meal, it can totally change their whole life around," Tsuji said.

"It's amazing the job that Lanakila does. Like I said, I couldn't appreciate it more," said recipient Judith Setzler.

Visit LanakilaMealsonWheels.org or call 356-8532 to sign up or learn more.

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