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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA provides $450,000 to support community efforts to feed kūpuna during crisis

HONOLULU (April 14, 2020) – OHA announced today the launch of Kaiāulu Meals, a $450,000 program that partners with a statewide network of community organizations to deliver 12 weeks of locally-sourced food to nearly 1,500 kūpuna in need.

“The kūpuna are the foundation of the ʻohana, and our ‘ohana are the foundation of the community,” said OHA Chair Colette Machado. “By taking care of elders, who are the most vulnerable to this disease, we take care of our ‘ohana, thereby taking care of our community.”

Launched in early April, OHA’s Kaiāulu Meals program is supporting 13 community-based service providers’ efforts to distribute enough food for three meals per week to Native Hawaiian kūpuna, ages 60 years and older.  The groups have worked with their communities to identify kūpuna who demonstrate the most need.  The program will distribute approximately 2,800 meals and 520 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) food packages every week to kūpuna on every island.

The origin of Kaiāulu Meals is rooted in the self-sustainability of our communities. Early on during this crisis, a number of organizations assessed the immediate needs of their communities and identified food insecurity as a major issue facing ‘ohana and especially kūpuna. These community groups, located on each island, quickly stepped up to provide prepared meals and local produce for their communities.

These groups truly embody the cultural values of aloha, mālama and lōkahi,” said OHA Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Hussey.  OHA is proud to partner with these organizations and to follow the community’s lead in how to best address their needs.”

In addition, these service providers are working with Hawaiʻi small businesses and farmers to ensure that meals and the CSA include local products.

“Another outstanding part about this program is that not only are we giving our kūpuna fresh, healthy meaʻai, but we are also supporting our local businesses and farmers during these economically difficult times,” said Hussey.

While at-risk kūpuna are the focus of the program now, the Kaiāulu Meals program may expand as community needs evolve and new partnership opportunities arise.

Community groups partnering with OHA in the Kaiāulu Meals program include:


1. ALU LIKE, Inc. (also assisting on service for Molokaʻi, Maui and Kauaʻi)
2. Lunalilo Home
3. Hale Kealoha/ʻĀina Hauʻoli
4. KEY Project
5. Waiʻānae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
6. Uncle Glenn’s Hawaiian Food

 Hawaiʻi Island:

7. Hawaiʻi Rise Foundation


8. Living Way Church
9. Hui No Ke Ola Pono




10. Lānaʻi Senior Center


11. Mālama Kauaʻi
12. Nā Maka Onaona
13. Ka Hale Pono

To learn about additional COVID-19 financial relief resources from OHA, as well as federal and other local sources, visit the OHA COVID-19 web page: oha.org/covid19.



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