MEO helps Kimokeo Foundation distribute donations on Lanai

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February 9, 2022

The Kimokeo Foundation working hand in hand with Maui Economic Opportunity provided dry goods for kupuna in need on Lana‘i in late January, coincidently when there was a disruption in food surplus shipments to the island.

The foundation donated toilet paper, paper towels, Depends and other dry goods with MEO providing transport from Manele Small Boat Harbor to storage facilities and then to seniors in need.

The donation, a gesture to establish a relationship with the Lanai community, came at an opportune time for Lanai residents in need, said Kaena Doolin, MEO Lana‘i branch manager. The Young Brothers barge was unable to dock at Kaumalapau Harbor on Jan. 24 – which meant no food surplus distribution.

“This did not replace surplus but the timing was right as surplus and the regular food deliveries didn’t make it in for a couple weeks,” said Doolin.

Without a food bank on Lana‘i, MEO holds a surplus food distribution event on the island once a month. The Lana‘i branch also offers access to most MEO programs for those in need including rental and utility assistance, Business Development Center courses and expertise, kupuna program support, as well as specialized transportation for youths, kupuna, persons with disabilities and those who need to get to dialysis and health appointments and shopping.

The Kimokeo Foundation was created in September 2015 by Native Hawaiian Kimokeo Kapahulehua “to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture, its traditions, practices, language and Maui’s environment through education programs, which benefit the people of Hawaii.”

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The Kimokeo Foundation donated goods to Lana‘i residents in late January with Maui Economic Opportunity assisting with transport. Foundation President Kimokeo Kapahulehua and MEO Lana‘i Branch Manager Kaena Doolin (middle) appear with the bus filled with the donations. Foundation representatives Jeff Scharnhorst (left) and Denes Schzak are also in the photo taken Jan. 28.

Shown with an MEO bus transporting goods donated by the Kimokeo Foundation are (from left) foundation President Kimokeo Kapahulehua, MEO Lana‘i Branch Manager Kaena Doolin, Jeff Scharnhorst from the foundation and Saul Kahihikolo Jr. of MEO.

*About Maui Economic Opportunity*

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., is a nonprofit agency that’s part of the national Community Action Partnership network, whose goal is to help low income individuals and families and disenfranchised people help themselves and transform their lives. Chartered in 1965, MEO offers more than 40 programs that assist low income people, kupuna, youths, persons with disabilities, immigrants and other disenfranchised individuals. MEO runs the Human Services transportation program and the Maui Bus paratransit system and Head Start preschools, as well as programs that offer kupuna socialization and information; rent, mortgage and utility assistance; Spanish interpretation and translation; entrepreneurial and financial basics; inmate reintegration into the community after release; and youth anti-drinking, -bullying and -suicide prevention. For more information about the entire array of programs, visit or call (808) 249-2990.

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