Posts in Category: program updates

The Spirit of Aloha During COVID-19

Due to the government mandated statewide COVID-19 shutdown, most of us are staying home, working from home, and minimizing our trips to the grocery store. We’re seeing layoffs and financial instability among many of our families here in Hawaii. But we’re also seeing some really wonderful examples of the Spirit of Aloha and ohana during this time of uncertainty, and these gestures give us hope and encouragement.

Since March 30 we have been serving free grab-and-go lunches to keiki and youth, thanks to a partnership with Kapi`olani Community College, Aloha Harvest, Hawaii Appleseed, and Hawaii Child Nutrition Programs. We know many children in our neighborhood qualify for free or reduced lunches and rely on that daily meal. Palama’s lunch is a valuable replacement for school meals, helping to lower the weekly family grocery bill and simply making one less task for parents during a long day of juggling work, academic assignments, and housework. Families are able to drive into our parking lot and stay in their car while our staff brings out the boxed lunches to their trunk, to minimize contact.



Local businesses have stepped up to help, too. Meadow Gold Hawaii donated cartons of yogurt and juice to KCC, which were included with the lunch distributions this week and given out to families. And HMSA has made a monetary donation to help offset the costs incurred by the program.

Beginning on April 13, Palama will switch to serving grab-and-go keiki suppers from 3:30 to 4:30 to round out a full day of meals, while Likelike Elementary will begin to serve breakfast and lunch.

Our emergency food pantry is also open. In the last week and a half we have served over 1,300 people through our food pantry distributions. This week we have begun deliveries of pantry items to kupuna as well, to better serve those who do not have the transportation to come to campus. Both individual donors and local businesses have made incredible contributions to support our pantry, giving both monetary gifts and donations of food. Fresh Island Delights LLC has donated almost 800 fresh fruit bowls and Ham Produce and Seafood has made multiple donations of potatoes, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, lettuce, snap peas, and mushrooms. Both contributions ensure families receive not only canned goods, but fresh produce too.



The Henry and Colene Wong Foundation has made a monetary donation to the Hawaii Foodbank to be used by Palama as credit for purchases, which will go a long way in keeping the pantry stocked through this crisis. Every1ne Hawaii has donated 700 surgical masks and 50 KN95 masks to Palama to help keep everyone safe. The surgical masks will be distributed in the kupuna deliveries and the KN95 masks will be worn by our staff while they interact with the community.

The efforts of our staff and the generous spirit of our donors has made a big impression on our clients. One kupuna called us yesterday to thank Palama for the delivery of food. She wanted to express her aloha and gratitude, saying the box really made a difference to her family, who has no car to get to the store. Another mother told us before she received her food pantry distribution, she only had one egg at home and cooked it and cut it in half to share with her daughter.

We are heartened by our community sharing their resources with those in need, especially in this difficult and stressful period. We want to say mahalo nui loa to each of our donors and partners for supporting us and enabling us to further our mission.

Mahalo to Supporters of Our Essential Services (as of April 27, 2020):

Jeffrey Aasen
Bruce Alameida, in memory of Emilia Alameida
Daria Cho
Lenore Enzel
James Factor
Joan Foley
Mae Fusato
Linda Gee
Lisa Iguchi
Anna Kurr
Charles Lee
Sharon Nagasako, in memory of Roy and Gladys Yoshimura
Alan Nishimura
Jean Nishimura
Ron Okamura
Jennifer Oyer
Sherry Mae Ravago
Jari Sugano
Judith Taylor
Terry Viergutz, in memory of Sabina Imbo Plaza McWilliams
Benjamin Wang
Lauren Yoo
Merryl Young

Alexander & Baldwin
Create with Clay Hawaii, Inc.
D. Otani Produce
Every1ne Hawaii
Fresh Tropical Delights LLC
Ham Produce and Seafood
Kahala Nui

Cooke Foundation, Ltd.
German Benevolent Society
Henry and Colene Wong Foundation

10 Apr

UPDATE: Emergency Food Pantry Access By Appointment Only

If you are in need of food, our emergency food pantry is here to serve you. To help protect the health of you and our staff, we will not be taking any walk-ins until further notice. If you would like to access the pantry, we ask that you call in advance and make an appointment with our staff. You may contact Ms. Pauni at (808) 848-2528 or Ms. Lani at (808) 848-2529.
We can also deliver food from the pantry to kupuna in Kalihi-Palama who are without transportation. Should you or a homebound family member need this service, please call our staff to arrange for delivery.

20 Mar

Summer 2020: Girls Talk Back

This summer, in partnership with the Women’s Fund of Hawai`i, the Association of American University Women (Honolulu Branch), and Ceeds of Peace, Palama Settlement is excited to announce Girls Talk Back, a program for teen girls focused on developing leadership, peacebuilding, social justice skills. The cohort of 20 girls will spend four weeks together, honing their skills and learning how to apply them to address community issues outside the classroom. At the end of the program, participants will present their projects and progress in a TED Talk-style forum, which they may use as an opportunity to launch both financial and in-kind campaigns to garner support for their projects.

Thanks to private funding, there is no registration fee to participate in the Girls Talk Back program. If you, or someone you know, are interested in joining this program, visit this link or click the image above to access the application form.

Girls Talk Back was created by a core partnership of Ceeds of Peace, AAUW Honolulu, and Women’s Fund of Hawai`i, who together identified gaps in the education system’s ability to develop underrepresented leaders, specifically women of color/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian women.

2 Mar

Spring 2020 Watercolor Classes: Registration now open!

Registration for spring watercolor classes is now open. Fee for this six week class is $25. No prior experience necessary and all supplies provided. If you are interested in signing up, please contact Donna at (808) 848-2517 or email


14 Nov

NEW: FREE Breakdancing Classes

Enroll your child now in Palama’s new FREE breakdancing class, offered in partnership with Breaks R4 Kidz!

6 Aug

FREE Summer 2019 Coding & Robotics Classes

Are you looking for summer activities for your keiki? Are you between the ages of 6 and 14 and interested in learning computer coding? Palama Settlement’s FREE summer coding and robotics classes might be the perfect activity for you!

All classes are taught by Twiddle Productions and take place in Palama’s Henry & Colene Wong Computer Center. For more information, call Donna at (808) 848-2517, or to register, complete the form below.

Registration form for coding classes.

Registration form for robotics classes.

18 Apr

Spring 2019 Coding & Robotics Classes for Keiki

Download the Coding Registration Form here.
Download the Robotics Registration Form here.

7 Dec