In April, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students partnered with Lanakila Meals on Wheels, Servco and Hui Car Share to deliver 1,250 emergency food care packages to home-bound seniors and individuals with disabilities across Oʻahu.

“What we want them (students) to learn is that there are individuals in our community that need a little bit of extra assistance," Atina Pascua, Director of the Office of Civic and Community Engagement said. “If we can all just do a little bit to help out, then we can all stay safe. Because this is about keeping everyone in our community safe during (a) disaster emergency preparedness.”

Approximately 30 UH Mānoa students volunteered to deliver care packages to those who would need it during a time of a disaster. At the same time, students were able to interact with the seniors to help bridge an inter-generational gap. 

“The issue of bridging generation and food security are central,” UH Mānoa senior Brian Nguyen said. “The students giving the food to the seniors, that generational difference really mends our differences and bring us together as a community.”

Some Lanakila clients said they were grateful that students were able to come and interact with them.

“It felt really great to see, not only their gratitude, but also their excitement with spending time with UH students,” UH Mānoa senior Andrew Menor said. “Kind of bridging the gap between generations and spending a moment to really show them how much we really appreciate their presence in our community as well.”

In addition to the 30 student volunteers, at least 20 Servco workers volunteered, with Hui providing 30 cars for the day. Some volunteers also used their own personal vehicles.

The event was part of Lanakila Meals on Wheels’ semi-annual initiative to give emergency food care packages to those in need.