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Battle Buddy Resource Center offers food an other essentials to Fort Benning Families in need. Pictured are volunteer Mikala Thurman, pantry manager Amy Mason, assistant pantry manager Ashlyn Heinle, director Ken Stevens, director Cindy Stevens, volu... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 8, 2015) -- "Combating hunger one can at a time" is the Battle Buddy Resource Center's motto.

The center, located at Building 488, is a food bank and ministry outreach for the Fort Benning community.

Each week volunteers and workers at the center send Families home with nutritious food and other essentials.

The BBRC gets the majority of its food from Feed the Valley, a community food bank that services food banks in the Columbus area. However, they do accept donations of nonperishable food items, and other essentials like diapers, laundry soap, trash bags, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. The center also takes volunteer applications during regular hours of operation.

"For me, it's a huge blessing to be able to put a smile on somebody's face. Most of the people who walk in here have a huge frown, but by the time they leave they're like 'Holy cannoli, that much food is coming home with me and I don't have to worry about feeding my Family for the next week,'" said Ashylin Heinle, BBRC assistant floor manager.

Ken Stevens, who along with his wife Cindy serves as the director for BBRC, said they want to get the word out about services provided by the resource center.

"I think there are a lot of Families who could be served better," Stevens said.

"Or they don't know who to go to, but they need help. I'm sure there are more in need than what we're helping, people who don't know we exist," said Cindy.

In order to receive assistance from the BBRC, Soldiers, retirees or DA civilians, must be referred by a chaplain.

"If they don't have a unit chaplain, they would contact their duty desk and tell them they needed to speak with the Army chaplain and the chaplain would assess the situation to see if they are falling in the parameters of getting assistance," Heinle said.

Stevens said the experience is completely confidential.

For the summer, the BBRC has put together what they call "summer bash bags" for kids who come in with their Families. The bags are filled with things like Oreos, canned soups, packaged chicken and bottles of Gatorade- things kids can prepare for themselves during the summer.

"We know that summer tends to be harder, because Families are strapped for cash and they need to come here anyway. So, we wanted to do something extra to show the kids, you guys can get some stuff specifically for you," said volunteer Amber Hahn.

The BBRC is open Tuesday 11 a.m.- 1 p.m., Wednesday 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. and Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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