Show Aloha Challenge helps local restaurants and kupuna amid COVID-19 pandemic


The stay-at home order is to protect the public’s health, but at the same time, it’s crippling some businesses.

The restaurant industry is being hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s impacted us drastically. I don’t know how I’m going to pay my rent next month,” said Maile Sayarath, the owner of Maile’s Thai Bistro.

But thanks to the Show Aloha Challenge, local restaurants are getting a boost, while making sure some of the most vulnerable members of Hawaii are being taken care of.

“I said, ‘let’s find 10 restaurants, ingest the money into the restaurants, and I’ll get Meals On Wheels to deliver the food, so we’ll kill three birds with one stone,” said Lanai Tabura, one of the challenge’s organizers.

The City & County of Honolulu, along with individual community members, organizations like Mira Image Construction, and non-profits came together to create the challenge.

The Show Aloha Challenge raises money to purchase 60 meals a day from 11 local restaurants to provide hot meals to seniors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maile’s Thai Bistro is part of the challenge.

“This morning we had jasmine rice with green curry,” Sayarath said. “If we can help in anyway we can, we’re happy to do it.”

The Show Aloha Challenge is paying off in ways that wasn’t expected.

“Their families are so appreciative that they come and take-out at our restaurants,” Sayarath said about the chain reaction that is helping her business.

Derrick Ariyoshi is the County Executive of the Elderly Affairs Division for the Department of Community Services.

Ariyoshi said the response from both ends of the challenge has been incredible.

“I think through all those challenges to see folks stepping up in the amazing and inspirational ways that they do… I think is unique maybe to our state,” Ariyoshi said about the collaboration.

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