By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /
Fort Benning’s Battle Buddy Resource Center opened its doors in Oct. 2013. Since then, its mission has been to help those in need.
The Battle Buddy Resource Center is a nonprofit organization equipped with a food and hygiene products pantry. It’s the only one of its kind, said Amy Mason, the director.
The Battle Buddy Resource Center runs entirely on donations and with the help of volunteers. Once a month, the chaplains fund a trip to the Feeding the Valley food bank, Mason added.
“While there, we use the money to get any goods that we might need like snacks, baking mixes, fruits and vegetables,” Mason said.
Everything is completely confidential. Anyone with a Department of Defense card, including contractors and retirees, must go to a chaplain and receive a referral, she added.
The new policy allows families to visit the Battle Buddy Resource Center once a month for three months.
Once the three months are up, the family can see a chaplain to be reevaluated. If the need remains, then the chaplain can send them back with another referral, Mason said.
The Battle Buddy Resource Center, along with all of Fort Benning, is currently participating in the 2016 Feds Feed Families campaign.
“It’s been in the works since 2009. President Obama ordered that the United States Department of Agriculture lead up a food drive during the summer months because there is a noticeable slump in donations during those times. Food lockers were running short, so this was designed to fill in that gap,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Darren Chester.
Right now, there are eight boxes set up around post for people to make donations, added Chester.
“We’re taking shelf-stable goods only at those boxes,” Chester said.
The Feds Feed Families campaign will run on Fort Benning until Aug. 31.
Additionally, the Battle Buddy Resource Center is doing a diaper giveaway.
“At different events we attend, we pass out diaper vouchers. No chaplain referral is needed. If they come in with the voucher, we supply them with diapers and a pack of wipes,” Mason said.
If the individual or family does not have a voucher on hand and they come in, there are some here, she continued.
“They have to be a DOD cardholder. They can be active duty, National Guard or a retiree. Contractors are welcome also as long as they have a DOD card,” Mason added.
The Battle Buddy Resource Center is open Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesdays 4 to 6 p.m. and Thursdays 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Individuals interested in volunteering can visit the center for a volunteer packet. For more information, call 706-545-4419.