Since statewide stay-at-home proclamation, the needs of our community continue to change moment by moment The need to be agile and flexible has never been more important. As other organizations carve out their new space and service delivery methods, HCEOC has combined agility, flexibility, and commitment to serve from our core areas of strength. Below are some services currently being provided.

SENIOR NUTRITION MEAL DELIVERY WAILUKU (Hilo) – WAIMEA  At the closing of County of Hawaii Senior Nutrition Congregate Meal sites, HCEOC will be working with the County to deliver 945 frozen meals (7 meals per senior) to roughly 135 seniors currently participating in the program who reside on the Hilo, Hamakua Coast, and Waimea. HCEOC’s food service program will be preparing seven frozen meals per participant and then deliver to each participant’s house. HCEOC will also be using this delivery service to extend our grocery delivery service and fresh produce delivery.

RENT AND UTILITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM The purpose of the COVID-19 Rent & Utility Assistance program (CRUA) is to provide rent and utility payments for people whose income has been impacted by the pandemic. The assistance will be provided by direct payment made by the four United Ways in the Islands to landlords and/or utility companies.  TO APPLY call 808-935-5219 (applications will be completed over the phone)

  1. Assistance will be provided to two categories of program clients:
  2. Households unable to make rent payments; and,
  3. Households unable to make utility payments including electric, gas, water, and/or a single cell phone account per household.

Application Requirements CRUA applicants must reside within the County of the Partner Agency submitting the application.

  1. Each household may apply up to one time per month.
  2. Applicants must have a current lease agreement. Lease agreements may not include inter-family agreements (landlords and tenants may not be related).
  3. Pre-COVID household income (prior to March 15, 2020) is at or below 80% of the
  4. Area Median Income (AMI). See the attached chart for 80% AMI by family size.
  5. (Verification will be determined by 2019 Income Tax Return, 2019 W-2s, recent
  6. pay stubs and/or other method(s) determined by the Provider Agency).
  7. Documentation showing a layoff, furlough or significant reduction in hours directly
  8. related to effects from the COVID-19 crisis.
  9. Evidence that the applicant has applied for unemployment or partial
  10. unemployment benefits.
  11. Applicant reports less than $1,000 in liquid assets (cash, checking & savings
  12. accounts, stocks, mutual funds, money market funds, bonds)
  13. Rent and Utility payments will be for the actual rent, partial rent accepted by the Landlord or Service Provider in lieu of full payment, or $1000, whichever is least.

FOOD SERVICE – ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL CAFETERIA  Currently, at St. Joseph School Cafeteria students from all Hilo schools (PreK – 18 years) can pick up breakfast and lunch Monday – Friday. Funded by USDA Lunch Program student food service is open to the students from other community schools. This is a drive-through pick up service for breakfast and lunch.

For Immediate Release: March 24, 2020

As of March 25, 2020, the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) will be closing their offices in East and West Hawaii to walking-in traffic but will remain operational. HCEOC will continue to provide services that are essential especially during this time due to COVID-19. HCEOC requests that all program inquires be made by phone or e-mail to eliminate in-person interaction and staff will respond within one business day. HCEOC ask for the applicants and client’s patience’s as we expect some delay due to the overwhelming phone calls.

Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council

East Hawaii – 808-961-2681 ext#400

West Hawaii – 808-322-3428

Fax – 808-961-2812   E-mail:


As we learn more about the COVID-19,  Hawai’i County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) believes our priority is the safety and health of our staff and service participants.  HCEOC is taking an active role in preventing the spread of the virus.  We have implemented a three-tiered leveled response and have created a Response Team that collects and disburses information to create consistent communication.

One of our actions is to increase its already rigorous disinfecting and cleaning schedule. Our normal cleaning schedule for vehicles and program sites is before and after each workday.  In addition to the regular cleaning schedule, HCEOC is disinfecting and wiping down passenger seats, door handles and high touch surfaces at each drop off-site and service site.    All staff and participants should wash hands frequently for 20 seconds and avoid touching the face, especially eyes, nose, and mouth.   Knowledge is power therefore we will be monitoring information provided by the State of Hawai’i Department of Health and the Centers for Disease  Control and Prevention (CDC).

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