Announcements: June 17, 2021

  • National Guard members place food in a vehicle Thursday during The Food Basket’s Ohana Food Drop held in January in Kailua-Kona. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

Food Basket announces upcoming Ohana Food Drop events

The Food Basket will hold Ohana Food Drop events through July.


Ohana Food Drops — a drive-through operation in which participants remain in their cars and provide information to food bank staff and volunteers through signage and hand motions — replace The Food Basket’s normal “high touch” distributions as an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Remaining distribution dates for June are Friday at Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona; June 25 at Pahoa Community Center in Puna; and June 29 at Naalehu Hongwanji in Ka‘u. Supplies will be available on a first come, first serve basis starting at 10 a.m.

Next month, The Food Basket will hold drops on July 2 at Waimea District Park, also known as Spencer Kalani Schutte District Park, in Waimea; July 14 at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo; July 23 at Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona; and July 27 at Naalehu Hongwanji in Ka‘u.

For more information, visit


Aloha Quilters of Kona to meet Saturday

The Aloha Quilters of Kona will meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Queen Emma Center, Christ Church Episcopal in Kealakekua. The meeting is open to anyone interested in quilting, beginner and experienced.

For more information, call Eileen at (808) 328-8027, or Trudy at (907) 831-0834.


Free mental health telemedicine services still available

As the state begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii UTelehealth, a free health service tool developed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), is reminding the public its behavioral health telemedicine program is still available for neighbor island residents.

The online telepsychiatry and telepsychology platform allows individuals to talk to a licensed professional about worries, stress, anxiety, substance use or other concerns at no charge. The service aims to provide mental health service to rural populations who might experience time constraints, financial burdens and transportation barriers when trying to access services.

Hawaii UTelehealth is staffed with a licensed mental health counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse practitioner and physician. The telehealth platform offers services from telehealth coordinators who can teach patients how to utilize telehealth eligible devices and gain technological literacy. Services are available until Aug. 31, 2023.

Call (808) 375-2745 for additional assistance or to set up your first appointment. Translators are available upon request.

The tool was developed by JABSOM in collaboration with the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center in the UH Manoa College of Social Sciences. Other partners include Hawaii State Rural Health Association and the Hawaii State Department of Health.

“These are trying times for everyone. It’s nice to have a number to call to get help,” said Kelley Withy, executive director of JABSOM’s Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center.


AARP Hawaii seeks nominations for Andrus Award

AARP Hawaii is accepting nominations for its most prestigious volunteer award, the 2021 Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors Hawaii residents 50 and older who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich the lives of their community members.

The awards program was developed to honor individuals whose service is a unique and valuable contribution to society. The award is named after AARP’s founder Ethel Percy Andrus. Last year, AARP recognized 50 outstanding individuals and couples from around the country.

Nominations will be evaluated based on how the volunteer’s work has improved the community, reflected AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers. The award recipient will be announced in early fall and AARP Hawaii will donate $500 to an organization of the recipient’s choice.


The application deadline is Aug. 1.

For more information and application forms, visit

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