Announcements: June 18, 2021

  • Fourteen-year-old Ocean Kanekoa, who created the online farmers market Paina by Ocean, loads a box of Thanksgiving fixings into a vehicle as volunteer Laina Reisenfeld swoops in from behind with a turkey during a Kahiau Together community distribution event during November in Kailua-Kona. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

Grocery bundles to be distributed Monday

The Ironman Foundation will hold its next drive-through Kahiau Together grocery bundle distribution event this Monday in Kailua-Kona.


The 18th distribution will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at Kona International Marketplace in Kailua-Kona. The bundles feature locally sourced fresh proteins, fruits, vegetables, and starches.

The foundation, Ironman’s nonprofit arm, has pledged $1 million to provide hunger relief to the island. Since July, more than 78,000 meals have been served through 17 distribution events.

For more information on the Kahiau Together initiatives and IRONMAN Foundation programs, visit

Staff shortage impacting plumbing inspections

Due to a staff shortage, the Hawaii County Department of Public Works Building Division reports there will be a longer waiting period for inspections.

The shortage will impact plumbing inspections through Aug. 15, according to the county. To request an inspection, visit or call (808) 961-8630 in Hilo or (808) 323-4720 in Kona.

DLIR launches MEUC program

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) has started processing MEUC applications. Claimants are eligible for MEUC if, in addition to W-2 wages, they earned a net income of at least $5,000 in self-employment work in the most recent taxable year before they applied for unemployment benefits.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) recipients are not eligible for MEUC, according to the department.

“MEUC is another lifeline available for people struggling through the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic,” said DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. “MEUC was created in response to workers whose past income wasn’t fully being counted and now that the program has launched, claimants who have side income will see an increase in their weekly benefit amount”

MEUC benefits are available for the week ending Jan. 2 through the week ending Sept. 4. Claimants who think they may be eligible for MEUC benefits will need to submit proof of qualifying income to the department. Claimants will need to apply through the web at


The complex MEUC program is the sixth federal benefit program implemented by the DLIR since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

For more information about MEUC, visit

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