Fort Shafter, Hawaii--Good Samaritans come in all forms. On Dec. 13, they came in the form of over 400 Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Pacific, who participated in an early morning run to benefit the Hawaii Food Bank.

Soldiers were encouraged to show up at the fourth annual Good Samaritan Run with a donation of food before taking off on the three and a half mile run from Fort Shafter to the Hawaii Food Bank, and back.

"There are a lot of people that could use the donation that we have made, and we want to contribute and continue building relationships in the community," said Chaplain (Maj.) Alan Savage.

The Hawaii Food Bank welcomes the Soldiers' generosity, said Kim Bartenstein, a food drive manager, the Food Bank distributes between 43-50 thousand pounds of food each day. This time of year says Bartenstein, is when the shelves go low and there are so many families in need.

"Many of the agencies that we support have seen 3 to 4 times more people than before seeking services, so the donations we get here, like the one the Army has done, are so important to fill that need," said Bartenstein.

Soldiers braved the rainy conditions and morning rush hour traffic down Middle Street and onto the Hawaii Food Bank, the event's turnaround point. There, runners were met by the HHB leadership and cheers from early morning workers at the Food Bank.

In previous Good Samaritan runs, Soldiers ran with their donations, dropped them off at the food bank, and ran back to the base. This year the food items were collected in several bins before the run. A van transported the canned goods and nonperishable items to the Hawaii Food Bank where it was received and weighed.

Bartenstein said the Hawaii Food Bank distributed close to 12 million pounds of food last year. She said that figure will increase this year due to the continued weakening economy and high unemployment.

Page last updated Tue December 13th, 2011 at 00:00