A helping hand for keiki and kūpuna statewide

Posted on Oct 28, 2020 in Capitol Connection, Featured

Providing practical information in a more personal way for families during the pandemic — that’s what First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige is focused on for her Facebook page with regular weekly posts. Whether it’s free meals for keiki or answers to basic questions on big issues such as pre-travel testing, contact tracing, or unemployment, Mrs. Ige is using her Facebook page to help people access information simply and easily.

Free school meals are helping keiki and families.

Free school meals are helping keiki and families.

Mrs. Ige urged families to take advantage of the free Grab-and-Go meals being offered at 203 public schools across the state through Dec. 18. “For parents left unemployed due to COVID-19, getting a free breakfast and lunch for their children can make a big difference,” she said. Mrs. Ige has partnered with the Department of Education, the No Kid Hungry Foundation and other community partners to promote the schools’ food service program. A list of schools can be found online at www.ainapono.org/grabandgo.

Caring for our kūpuna, especially during the pandemic, is also a major concern for her. As the state’s honorary chair of the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s, she wants to raise awareness about programs and research related to the disease. The next two events, on O‘ahu Nov. 7 and Kaua‘i Dec. 5, will include participation in small teams or individually. The Alzheimer’s cause is close to Mrs. Ige’s heart since her mother, who is 95, has the disease. “Like so many families, we can’t visit her in the nursing home,” she said. “We know the isolation is hard for seniors.” For more details on this year’s walk and other resources, go to www.alz.org/hawaii. For more services and support for seniors, visit the Executive Office on Aging at health.hawaii.gov/eoa/.

As the holidays approach, the Iges, like many islanders, are wrestling with how to handle family gatherings differently for safety. “Our children are hoping to come home for Christmas, but not for Thanksgiving,” she said. “We want people to take every precaution as they’re making holiday plans. We know these family gatherings are so important to all of us in Hawai‘i.” For advice on precautions for the holidays, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html and https://hawaiicovid19.com/guidance-for-everyone/.

Read more in the November Capitol Connection newsletter

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