News: Battle Buddy Resource Center feeding families 'one can at a time'
Story by Sgt. Stephanie Woodson
FORT BENNING, Ga. - The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division hosted a “Hop to the Tanks” food drive supporting the Battle Buddy Resource Center mission to combat hunger by providing food assistance to Fort Benning Soldiers and their families at the Fort Benning Commissary Apr. 15.
More than 20 Sledgehammer Soldiers volunteered during the BBRC food drive to assist Fort Benning Soldiers and families who may be in need of food. The Sledgehammer Brigade’s 2nd battalion, 69th Armor Regiment had a static display of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and an Abrams Tank in the commissary parking lot while members of the community donated food items.
“I see we are going to be over flowing with nonperishable donated food items,” said Nicole Hintay, director of the Battle Buddy Resource Center located on Fort Benning’s main post. “We have three fund raisers going on right now including the one with the Sledgehammer Brigade Soldiers and the goal is to get lots and lots of food.”
Nonperishable food items include canned vegetables, fruits and soup, boxed noodles, breakfast food items as in cereal, oatmeal, pancake and muffin mix, snacks, powder drinks, coffee, peanut butter, jelly, and crackers. Other items include basic essential needs; shampoo, lotion, tooth paste, baby diapers and wipes, dog food and cat food.
This is not the center’s first food drive but the first Hintay has participated in since she took over the director position in February 2014. She realizes that Soldiers will not ask for assistance because of the stigma or don’t know where to go to receive help. She reassures Soldiers that the center prides itself on confidentiality and it is not anyone’s business but the Soldiers who are coming to get assistance.
“Soldiers needing assistance can go see the chaplain or me. They must have a valid military ID, list the number of people in the household (this determines how many bags of food you will receive) and basic household information. Each family can receive food once a month,” Hintay said.
“A lot of times Soldiers just doesn’t know where to seek help,” she added/
Hintay explained the chaplain is not here to reprimand the Soldiers but here for guidance. The center is for food and basic essentials and if the Soldier needs other resources to help the families get stable.
“I heard about BBRC but didn’t know what the center did,” said Spc. Nicholas Giambrone, an infantryman assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd ABCT, 3rd ID. Now I know and can tell Soldiers where to go if they need help with food or other assistance.”
“It’s a great resource for Soldiers, he added.”
“Honestly, sometimes ends just don’t meet and people need temporary assistance until their finances are stable,” said Hintay. “Soldiers permanently change stations all the time and unforeseen expense comes up. If the Soldiers doesn’t feel comfortable going to their chain of command they can go to the chaplain or come to BBRC and ask for Nicole, I am more than willing to help.
“I can only imagine. I put myself in their positions, ‘what if it was me or one of my seven children?’ that makes me sad but I’m always happy to help,” Hintay said.
They host food drives several times a year around post. The center accepts food donations year round at the any Fort Benning Chapel and collection boxes located around post, for large donation please contact the director of the center to set up a time to drop off or have us pick up the donation.
The center hours of operation are: Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or the Soldier(s) can notify their chaplain for emergency issues.