New healthy option at food court
January 31, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 31, 2013) -- There is a variety of choices when it comes to choosing where to eat in the Army and Air Force Exchange Service food court, and a new option in Subway offers a healthy choice for patrons.
AAFES values the importance of wellness and understanding that a large part of the military's focus is on a fit mind and body to ensure top performance, the post exchange decided to provide a restaurant that expands healthy eating options, according to Susie Antonello, visual merchandiser at Fort Rucker AAFES.
"Subway's popular 'Fresh Fit' menu provides eight sandwiches with less than six grams of fat, baked chips and a diet beverage proving to be a great 'fit' to our initiatives of serving our military Families' minds and bodies," she said. "By adding Subway to the main exchange food court, the exchange's healthy options are the perfect supplement for both conditioning efforts."
Subway held its soft opening Jan. 25 and is open Mondays--Fridays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
One of the first Soldiers to eat at the establishment, 2nd Lt. Keegan Wisehart, D Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, was happy about the new choice.
"I have been here since August and I am so happy that there is now a Subway on post. It is hard to eat healthy when you are busy, so it is really nice to have this option at a convenient location," he said. "I like having this choice compared to some of the greasier options that we have around the area. Between classes, I know Soldiers will be up here eating."
Beyond lightening the strain on the wallet, the exchange is also looking out for military Families' "bottom lines" with healthy eating options.
"A strong mind and body are important to military members and their Families and the exchange is active in promoting the health and wellbeing of the Fort Rucker community with its 'Operation Be Fit' programs and sustainability," she said. "Subway [plays] active roles in communities. Its focus on helping outreach organizations promote healthy eating and its commitment to the environment [also attracted us to bring them in]."
Subway leads its field in green initiatives, said Antonello, with its recycling program.
"Salad bowls are made from 95 percent recycled materials; keeping 2.62 million pounds of plastic from hitting landfills, which represents about 500,000 gallons of petroleum needed to make the plastic bowls and lids," she said.
The new partnership between the exchange and Subway reflects the commitment of both organizations to lead and promote culture of excellence standards-- by eating healthy and living healthy.
Second Lt. Kevin Bubolz, D Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, said he was excited to have the option to eat healthy at Subway because it will save him time.
"It is nice to have Subway here. It's way more convenient than to drive off post and fight the traffic [during] lunch," he said.
And there is an added benefit for using the post food facilities by way of the exchange giving back to the Soldiers and their Families.
"A portion of the proceeds goes back to the post community in the form of Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation dividends," said Antonello.
The doors to all AAFES' fast food and convenience stores are open to anyone, according to DOD policy.
"DOD policy allows all federal government employees and installation visitors to dine at exchange restaurants as long as their orders are consumed on the installation," said Antonello.
"Furthermore, anyone can purchase single-serve consumables from an Express Store, an option that is especially valuable late at night or early in the morning, considering the mini mall express," she added.
Food court restaurants have a wide array of nutritional facts available for diners to review to ensure they're making healthy choices. Other food court options are Popeye's, Anthony's Pizza and Charley's Grilled Subs.
The grand opening and ribbon cutting for Subway is set for March 1 at 10 a.m.