Businesses, community members extend a helping hand to kupuna as virus spreads

Coronavirus

Some businesses and community members noticed how busy lines and empty shelves could leave Hawaii’s seniors without necessary supplies. So they’re doing what they can to help. Foodland announced on Tuesday it will set aside the first hour of business on certain days to serve only seniors and Foodland is not the only business following this trend.

The Coronavirus crisis has put our focus on the kupuna. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, Foodland says seniors 60 and older will be allowed to shop for groceries before other customers until the end of the month.

Target is also looking out for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. The company says the first hour of shopping every Wednesday will be reserved for them. Their stores will also be closing at 9 p.m. daily to clean and restock.

We’re also seeing community members step up for seniors or people who are unable to shop for groceries and supplies. One Kailua couple started a Facebook page called Kailua Corona Community Support to connect people in need with those who could help.

“When it comes down to a crisis it really matters how we handle this on a local level and to have a strong community and to fight this scarcity mentality and connect and that’s really what this has been about for us that we are only as strong as our neighbors,” said Kailua resident Mathew Markman.

The Maui Police Department is also collecting donations and asking the public to share some necessities for the kupuna.

“It’s really heartbreaking, there are no supplies. There’s no toilet paper, there are no hand wipes,” said Marjorieann Kahookele-Pea of MPD. “We’re hoping people did purchase a little extra and don’t mind helping out because somebody has them they’re buying it.”

From the Maui Police Department Facebook page:
“Operation Kokua Our Kupuna
During this time of Coronavirus, we are asking the public and our community to help our precious Kupuna. They are at a vulnerable risk and not able to obtains supplies. We at Maui Police Department recognize their need and urge for community support. During this time of the pandemic, we will be continuously collecting hand sanitizers, Toilet Papers, Hand Wipes and Masks for our Kupuna. We will utilize our local senior resources that will distribute to those in need. We appreciate all your acts of Aloha. You may drop off supplies at the Main Police Station, 55 Mahalani Street in Wailuku, during business hours. If businesses would also like to help, please contact Maui Police Department Community Relations, 244-6391.
We will be accepting donations at all Maui County Stations, Lanai, Molokai, Hana, Lahaina, and Kihei.”

Back on Oahu, Wikiwiki Express Delivery understands the elderly may need groceries or medicine delivered so they tell us they would like to offer their services for free.

“All we ask is that they inform us that they feel like they have any flu-like symptoms we can leave it at the door,” said owner Christopher Hilacion. “We know we’re living in uncertain times and if we can do something we can give back, that’s what we’re about.”

Wikiwiki Express Delivery 1-855-945-4945.

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