A food delivery truck was stolen and more than 400 pounds of food wound up spoiled — food that was meant for families in need.

Early Wednesday morning, an Aloha Harvest truck was stolen while crews were loading food at a pickup site in Waipio.

The truck was later found in a canal in Nanakuli.

Police have opened an auto theft case and are looking for the suspects.

Aloha Harvest’s executive director tells us they only have two refrigerator trucks that deliver food donations to community groups all over the island, so you can imagine the devastating blow this has on a lot of people who count on them.

It all started while they were loading donations in the truck.

“I was putting food in the box, picked it up, and there went the truck,” said Aloha Harvest helper Shaun Dickson. “I was going, ‘What the heck is going on here?'”

A GPS tracker on the truck led police to a canal in Nanakuli.

“It’s pretty narrow, pretty amazing they got the truck there — damaged our truck on the right side. They were scraping as they went in,” said Aloha Harvest executive director Kuulei Williams.

Witnesses say two people took off. Company keys and personal phones were taken.

Aloha Harvest officials tell us it looked like the suspects also tried to take a box of food.

“If they were hungry, all they had to do is come back, ask us, and we would have gave them food right then and there,” said Dickson.

But everything they collected prior to the theft spoiled “because the door was left open. Even though the reefer was on, the temperature wasn’t at the right temperature so unfortunately, we have to find a place to throw all that food away,” said Williams.

Aloha Harvest is grateful to get its truck back, but points out that the ones hurting the most are those Aloha Harvest delivers food to.

Before picking up food donations in Waipio, the truck made 11 other stops, collecting about 450 pounds of food.

Crews had four more stops to go before delivering food to the Institute for Human Services and the North Shore Food Bank in Haleiwa.

“We had about 60 people lining up around 9 a.m. and by noon, when they expected the food to be there, no one showed up,” said Kimo Carvalho of IHS. “It helps offset the cost of food in their pantries, so this is a blow to the community, but at the end of the day, we do what we can to try to refer them elsewhere.”

Thankfully, both agencies were able to use other resources and provide meals to the Haleiwa community.

Aloha Harvest tells us it will look explore ways to prevent this from happening again.