Kupuna aid other coronavirus-related news from throughout the state

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced a program to provide meals to Native Hawaiian seniors throughout the state.

Kaiaulu Meals is a $450,000 program that supports 13 community organizations statewide to distribute approximately 2,800 meals and 520 food packages each week to kupuna. The program also works with local businesses and farmers to ensure the food includes local products.

On the Big Island, Kaiaulu Meals is working with the Hilo-based Hawaii Rise Foundation to distribute three meals per kupuna each week. The foundation, like the other partner organizations, is working to identify which people age 60 or older demonstrate the most need.

“The kupuna are the foundation of the ohana, and our ohana are the foundation of the community,” said OHA Chairwoman Colette Machado. “By taking care of elders, who are the most vulnerable to this disease, we take care of our ohana, thereby taking care of our community.”

Agricultural loans

The state Board of Agriculture announced a series of emergency agricultural loans for farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Available today, the loan program allows eligible farmers, growers and ranchers to apply for loans of up to $150,000 at 3% interest.

The program also waives certain requirements typically required of agricultural loans: loans of $100,000 or less will not require credit denials from other financial institutions nor will any loan require applicants to have been residents for at least three years. Loan officers also are authorized to modify or waive entirely the requirement for collateral as necessary.

Current agricultural loan holders suffering financially because of the pandemic might also be eligible for payment relief or forbearance.

“As with many sectors of our community, our agricultural industry is suffering serious financial hardship due to the closure of restaurants, hotels and other businesses,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of board, in a statement. “The emergency loan program will help agribusinesses survive through this crisis so they will be able to resume their operations on the other side of this pandemic.”

Big Island farmers can apply for a loan by calling state Department of Agricultural offices in Hilo at 933-9975 or Kona at 323-7591.

Airport aid

Hilo International Airport will receive more than $6 million in federal funds after the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $10 billion aid package to support airports nationwide.

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded $133 million in aid to 15 Hawaii airports in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will support the airports’ continuing operations and replace lost revenue.

Little more than half the total package will go to supporting Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, which will receive more than $74 million. More than $13 million will go to the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport, while the Waimea-Kohala and Upolu airports will receive $69,000 and $1,000, respectively.

The CARES Act will also increase the federal share of certain 2020 airport improvement grants to 100%, allowing improvement projects at airports nationwide to continue regardless of the airports’ financial straits.

This article was originally found on Hawaii Tribune Herald.  Source https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2020/04/15/hawaii-news/other-coronavirus-related-news-from-throughout-the-state/

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Daron Robinson
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