HONOLULU (KHON2) - The need for kupuna care services continues to grow due to 16 years of flat funding that hasn't kept pace with inflation.
A local organization is doing its best to serve this growing population.
Bob Ramsey delivers more than just a warm meal to Bonnie Maka. He is also delivering a warm smile and all the fixings that go with it.
"Kupunas are totally alone. They have nobody," Maka said. "It means that I have food to eat. I don't need to go out shopping, which is hard for me to get out. It means a friendly face and a smile, and it makes my day."
Ramsey is one of more than 200 volunteers who give their time and heart for those who need that human touch.
"This was a great opportunity for me to give back to our kupuna, and I've been doing this four years since I've retired. I really feel like I'm making a difference, and it's really a rewarding experience for me," Ramsey said. "I have regular routes and today, I'm going out to Makaha, and that will be people that I see every week, so yeah, we do establish a relationship. I look forward to seeing them, and hopefully they look forward to seeing me."
"We really think of the Lanakila Meals on Wheels program as being a lifeline," said Lori Lau, Lanakila Meals on Wheels director. "For so many of our kupuna that are home-bound, they really just need the little bit of support."
On Wednesday, March 7, hundreds of kupuna and supporters will "March for Meals" at the State Capitol.
"It's really about public awareness," said Lau about the event. "It's about letting people know that kupuna hunger is an ongoing yearly, everyday issue, and that we really need the community support to make sure we can feed our kupuna all year round."
The home-delivered meals are providing nutrition for our kupuna and a priceless safety net for those who want to live independently with dignity.
For more information: www.lanakilapacific.org