Meals On Wheels Really Delivers
By Claire Shimabukuro, Executive Director, Meals On Wheels
Ask most adults where they want to live as they age, and the majority will tell you they would prefer to remain in their homes. Hawaii Meals on Wheels honors the preferences of aging seniors by bringing hot, nutritious and delicious meals to their homes to help avoid or delay their need for costly institutional care.
We provide a welcome service for elders who are unable to move as freely and quickly or can no longer shop for groceries or safely cook for themselves. The need is growing. It’s estimated one of five individuals in Hawaii will be 65 years old or more by 2030.
Hawaii Meals on Wheels is responding to this growing need. When the organization was founded by churches 35 years ago, there were just six clients in Makiki and Moiliili with just six volunteers to serve them. Today, Hawaii Meals on Wheels delivers more than 85,000 meals across Oahu along 47 routes each year with support from more than 450 dedicated volunteers.
For Mrs. F of Kaimuki, being able to count on a hot meal delivered to her home by a volunteer with a cheerful smile makes her day. The feeling is mutual for Jon, a volunteer on the Kaimuki route.
This brief talk-story time is often Mrs. F’s only human contact of the day. Jon makes sure she is doing OK physically and emotionally so that he can make an appropriate referral, if necessary.
Our nonprofit organization purchases meals from health-care facilities and other kitchen partners for our volunteers to deliver. We do not charge for the meals, but ask for donations. Recipients give what they can, if they can.
Client donations do not cover the cost of the meals, so we make up the difference through our fundraising efforts. Our annual gala, our biggest event of the year, is called September Spooktacular and will feature a “Wall of Wine & Spirits,” hauntingly spectacular entertainment, an eerie silent auction, and a haunted castle store, all at The Willows Restaurant Thursday, Sept. 25.
Visit hmow.org for details or call 988-6747.
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