By Mary Simms
HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Lanikila Meals on Wheels, a very critical program for many O'ahu seniors, experienced financial challenges this year. Shortfalls in funding threatened the program.
The folks at Lanakila say it's thanks to the generous outpouring of support from the community. Through many donations of time and money, the program has almost reached its $350,000 benchmark. But, they say they still need help.
The Lanakila Meals on Wheels program will deliver more than 800 hot meals to homebound Oahu seniors this Thanksgiving.
"I think what the volunteers as well as Lanakila does is provide them that warmth and happiness that everybody deserves on Thanksgiving, to spend time with loved ones and their families and to be thankful for so many things," said Deputy Director Brandon Mitsuda.
They'll deliver a hot Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings, but say its not just about the food.
"It's more than just a meal for the seniors many times our drivers are the only people they see throughout the day and we encourage our drivers to spend time with them to help them get the necessary resources the need to live a healthier life and they really est a relation ship with them they become like family."
They've met their goal for Thanksgiving, but the program still needs to raise $35,000 for its home delivery program, and $6,000 more for Christmas meal deliveries.
"If the volunteers weren't around, if Lanakila wasn't around a lot of seniors would go hungry on Thanksgiving and they'd be very lonely on Thanksgiving."