FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 2, 2013) -- Lend a hand to a battle buddy in need by donating food to the Battle Buddy Resource Center, which will have its grand opening with the American Red Cross at 4 p.m. Oct. 4 at 7800 Anderson Avenue.

The opening will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and hot dogs and hamburgers will be available.

Attendees are encouraged to bring food items with them. Acceptable items are canned foods, canned dog and cat food, toiletries, diapers and baby food. Expired goods are not accepted.

"In the Army, every Soldier has a battle buddy," said Katie McMaster, wife of Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, Fort Benning's commanding general. "And the Soldier's battle buddy is there to support, look out and help them (when needed) and that's what our resource center is going to do."

McMaster, who spearheaded the creation of the Battle Buddy Resource Center, said it is sponsored by the 194th Armored Brigade in partnership with the American Red Cross.

Many Soldiers are away from their homes and Families, she said, and so the Army becomes their Family. And she and others wanted to do more to help those in need.

Military ID cardholders, including retirees, who need assistance can stop by the center from 10 a.m. to noon and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The chain of command does not need to be involved, she said.

People interested in donating canned goods can drop them off at the center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or organizations can collect for the center.

The center is sponsoring a food drive at the upcoming Doughboy football game at 2 p.m. Oct. 6 at Doughboy Stadium, which is a chance to support both the center and Doughboy football team, McMaster said.

"This is truly a way the Army Family can help," she said.