The Tri-City Americans sorted and boxed food with the speed of a 2-on-1 breakaway Wednesday morning at Second Harvest in Pasco.
The hockey team sent 14 players to help with a weekly sorting event at the charity, and accomplished their work ahead of schedule in 3 1/2 hours.
"The Tri-City Americans have been a tremendous help this morning sorting and packing food that will be distributed to our food banks and meal sites," said Jean Tucker, development manager for Second Harvest. "They brought great energy with them. We are honored to have them with us and the great spirit they have with giving back to the community."
Americans goaltender Eric Comrie, whose Comrie Saves Hunger campaign benefits Second Harvest, was one of the players who lent a hand Wednesday.
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"It's always an unbelievable experience," Comrie said of the team's 2,500 hours of community service work each season. "It's tradition that our team always gives back and we are continuing that tradition."
Comrie will donate 50 cents for every save he makes in a home game to Second Harvest. So far, he's out $143, but he's happy to open his wallet.
"We all have great families and great billets and sometimes we take things for granted," Comrie said. "We are happy to be able to give back."
Second Harvest provides food to 25 food banks and meal sites in Benton and Franklin counties. One out of seven people in the Mid-Columbia -- including one out of every four children -- struggles with hunger, according to the organization.
Wednesday, the Americans helped sort 5,000 pounds of food and 4,459 pounds of bread products, including bagels and breakfast muffins.
"It's nice to help out," said defenseman Michal Plutnar, who noted there are similar organizations in his native Czech Republic that help the less fortunate.
The Comrie Saves Hunger program works with the monthly Kadlec Regional Medical Center Book and Food Drive games. There is a donation drive at Friday's game against Kelowna.