Economy threatens elderly meal program

Brandon Mitsuda
Brandon Mitsuda
Filiki Tomanagi
Filiki Tomanagi

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

The country's economic crisis has everyone cutting back, and that's having a crippling effect on a Hawaii organization that now needs your help.

Lanakila's "Meals on Wheels and More" program says it needs to raise about a $100,000 to keep its food delivery service to the elderly alive.

They deliver about 1,700 meals a day, serving seniors like Filiki Tomanogi their favorites.

"Chicken, beef and fish," said Tomanogi.

Hit by soaring fuel costs before, the program now has a bigger bump in the road.

"More meals, more money, more donations, more volunteers, and the need is as great as ever," said Deputy Director Brandon Mitsuda.

Suffering a shortfall, Thanksgiving and Christmas meal services are threatened. It's not only about a source of sustenance, the program is a prescription for the sometimes lonely elderly people.

"Our drivers are the only people that see these seniors and without this contact, without these meals, many of these seniors would be forced to go into hospitals prematurely, or maybe even pass away," said Mitsuda.

"These people who prepare the food thank you very much for them. I wish to say thank you very much for the program, for the food, thank you very much," said Tomanagi.

While the wheels of dedicated volunteers continue in motion, time is running out. It's now up to the community to prevent this crisis.

Seniors get full meals that are easy to heat up and most importantly for their age, nutritious.