Hundreds of kupuna marched at the state capitol today, fighting to keep Kupuna Care a priority. The state-funded program provides basic services to thousands of seniors in need.
Langimaina Falaniko, 69, voice belted out high notes loud and clear as she led fellow kupuna in song. She wants legislators to know it isn't okay to let seniors go hungry.
"Because the old people are ready to go heaven, but we like to feed them and make them healthy and stay in happy life," Falaniko said.
Hawaii ranks 23rd in the country in the percentage of seniors who are at risk of going without a meal. Lanakila Meals on Wheels has a waiting list of 200, and it increases each day.
"The seniors worked all their life to support the people, and now it's time for the state to give back to the seniors," senior citizen Love said.
Mayor Peter Carlisle showed his support for the seniors' pleas for help.
"These are people who genuinely have led golden lives and they're in the period right now where they have a lot to offer, but they're facing physical challenges, mental challenges, sometimes food problems and that's something we can help with," Mayor Carlisle said.
Seniors said they'll continue to fight the battle to keep the food coming to the table.
"Keep your mama, keep your papa, and feed them," shouted Falaniko.