FORT LEE, Va., 2014-7-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Defense Commissary Agency has established a formal process covering diversion of unsellable but edible food to local food banks.
The program now involves 110 stateside commissaries that will divert qualifying food to 77 food banks approved by the Department of Defense, but both numbers will continue to rise.
“During fiscal year 2013, DeCA donated 638,582 pounds,” said Randy Eller, deputy director of DeCA’s logistics division.
“Already in fiscal 2014, we have donated more than 1 million pounds, so our donations this year could approach 1.5 million pounds,” he continued. “This may sound like a lot, and the food banks are certainly grateful, but edible, unsellable product amounts to less than 1 percent of what we sell worldwide. We strive for as little loss as possible to remain efficient and effective.”
Following the government shutdown in 2013, DeCA and government officials recognized the need for a formal program for diverting unsellable but wholesome food.
Once stateside commissaries returned to normal operations after the Oct. 2-6 shutdown, DeCA received a one-time exception from the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness to authorize local food banks to receive food donations.
With that exception, DeCA turned over approximately $250,339 in grocery, meat and produce merchandise to 72 food banks throughout the United States, preventing entry into the waste stream. Turning that one-time project into an ongoing program involved nearly six months of work. DeCA headquarters staff contacted all U.S. commissaries and established procedures to gain approval for participating food banks.
This system differs from the annual Feds Feed Families campaign that runs June through August. Under Feds Feed Families, commissaries serve as collection points for their installations, and all donations come from DeCA customers.
Commissaries with food bank partnerships, by state:
- Alabama: Gunter Annex, Maxwell Air Force Base
- Alaska: Anchorage Area, Eielson Air Force Base, Fort Wainwright, U.S. Coast Guard Base Kodiak
- Arizona: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca
- Arkansas: Little Rock Air Force Base
- California: Edwards Air Force Base, Fort Irwin, March Air Reserve Base, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Naval Air Station North Island, Ord Community, Naval Base San Diego, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms
- Colorado: Air Force Academy, Buckley Air Force Base, Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base
- Delaware: Dover Air Force Base
- District of Columbia: Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
- Florida: Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, MacDill Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Tyndall Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Whiting Field
- Georgia: Fort Gordon, Hunter Army Air Field, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Robins Air Force Base, Fort Stewart
- Hawaii: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (both commissaries), Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Schofield Barracks
- Illinois: Naval Station Great Lakes
- Kansas: Fort Leavenworth, McConnell Air Force Base, Fort Riley
- Kentucky: Fort Campbell, Fort Knox
- Louisiana: Barksdale Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans
- Maine: Bangor Army National Guard Base
- Maryland: Aberdeen Proving Ground, Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Meade
- Michigan: Selfridge Army National Guard Base
- Mississippi: Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Keesler Air Force Base
- Montana: Malmstrom Air Force Base
- Nebraska: Offutt Air Force Base
- Nevada: Nellis Air Force Base
- New Mexico: Cannon Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, Kirtland Air Force Base, White Sands Missile Range
- New York: Fort Drum, West Point U.S. Military Academy
- North Carolina: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Fort Bragg (both commissaries), Marine Corps Air Station New River, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
- North Dakota: Grand Forks Air Force Base
- Ohio: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
- Oklahoma: Altus Air Force Base, Fort Sill, Tinker Air Force Base, Vance Air Force Base
- Pennsylvania: Carlisle Barracks, C.E. Kelly, Tobyhanna Army Depot
- South Carolina: Charleston Air Force Base, Naval Weapons Station Charleston, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
- South Dakota: Ellsworth Air Force Base
- Texas: Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Dyess Air Force Base, Fort Hood (both commissaries), Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Lackland Air Force Base, Laughlin Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston, Sheppard Air Force Base
- Virginia: Fort Belvoir, Joint Base Langley-Eustis (both commissaries), Fort Myer commissary at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Naval Air Station Oceana, Marine Corps Base Quantico
- Washington: Naval Base Bangor, Fairchild Air Force Base, Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (both commissaries), Smokey Point Naval Supply Complex, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
- Wisconsin: Fort McCoy
- Wyoming: F.E. Warren Air Force Base
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5–percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773