561st Eng. Co., “Warriors,” collects most cans for second year in a row
Capt. Christopher Ren
84th Engineer Battalion Public Affairs, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — While most families enjoy plenty of great food during the holidays, not everyone is fortunate enough to have turkey and all the fixings.
Soldiers of the 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, are making sure those families have food on their tables during the holidays.
The “Never Daunted, Never Hungry” food drive collected canned food during the month of November for the Hawaii Food Bank. The battalion’s Soldiers gathered more than 7,000 cans of food and raised more than $1,700.
For the second year in a row, the 561st Eng. Company collected the largest number of cans within the battalion, totaling 3,400 cans and more than $1,100 in donations. The company also had the largest percentage of cans per Soldier, averaging nearly 18 cans each.
“Awesome food drive,” said Kim Bartenstein, food drive manager, Hawaii Food Bank. “The 84th collected 5,861 pounds of food, and the Hawaii Food Bank will be able to provide food for 8,865 meals with the generous donation.”
This year was the second year the battalion has conducted the food drive. Last year, between November and December, its Soldiers collected nearly 8,000 cans of food for the Hawaii Food Bank.
“Even many Soldiers experience tough times and often have to choose between food and other necessities,” said Capt. Karen-Nicole Knapper, food drive organizer for the battalion. “Month by month, our Soldiers are having to choose between buying groceries and budgeting for other necessities.”
The donations collected by the 84th Eng. Bn. will help to alleviate the burden of hunger shouldered by many service members and Oahu locals.
According to research numbers provided by Army Community Service, here, 28 percent of service members’ households must choose between paying their rent or buying groceries, while 21 percent must choose between paying utilities or buying food.
Within Hawaii’s general public, research shows that hunger is also a growing problem. According to research conducted by “Hunger in Hawaii” in 2010, the Hawaii Food Bank feeds more than 14 percent of Hawaii’s population, including the elderly, the homeless and low-income families who or are disabled or unemployed.