A crowd of seniors and concerned residents rallied at the State Capitol Friday in support of Lanakila Meals on Wheels.

It was one of many rallies across the nation held in honor of the 13th annual March for Meals campaign to raise awareness and support for the growing number of seniors in need of nutritious meals.

Lanakila Meals on Wheels is a program of Lanakila Pacific, which receives partial funding and support of Lanakila Meals on Wheels by the state Executive Office on Aging’s Kupuna Care program.

Organizers say the need for Kupuna Care services continues to grow, especially since the base budget of $4.85 million has not been increased since 2002, while Hawaii’s senior population has increased by 30 percent.

“The legislature does a great job of helping us, but we need our share. That’s why we are letting everyone know how important it is to support the kupuna,” said Harry Maxwell, Lanakila Meals on Wheels volunteer. “This is a year-round problem where people are hungry and are in need friendship. All the support that we can get is what this is for.”

Kupuna Care is a state-funded, county administered program that provides basic services to frail older adults who can’t live at home without assistance. Services include home-delivered meals, personal care, help with chores and transportation assistance.

Click here for more information on how to donate or volunteer for Lanakila Meals on Wheels.