CAMP HUMPHREYS -- In an effort to help with dining facility cost savings and add a convenience asked for by patrons, Area III dining facilities began a 90-day carryout pilot program April 15.

The program allows dining facility patrons, primarily Soldiers, to bring in their own plastic (with snap-on lid) takeout containers and transfer their food into them after returning to the DFAC seating area.

"The Soldiers have been asking for this type of program and it will help the dining facilities when it comes to saving money on Styrofoam takeout trays," said David Duffie, of the Camp Humphreys Food Program Management Office. "This type of program has been used at other installations and has saved, depending on usage, up to $60,000 a year."

Soldiers who want to bring in a container for takeout have to make sure they don?'t bring it into the serving lines. Containers must stay in the dining area to prevent the spread of food-borne diseases.

Duffie said that Chief Warrant Officer 5 Haesoo Kim, the Eighth Army Command Food Advisor, was instrumental in getting the program approved and they expect this program should help increase headcount.

Some other guidelines for DFAC customer using this program are:

Adhere to safety and sanitation standards and avoid taking out food if travel to the consumption location is more than 30 minutes from the DFAC.

Do not remove silverware, salt and pepper shakers, sugar containers and condiment bottles from the DFAC. Patrons should use the individually packed condiments from the serving lines.

Be responsible for the procurement of plastic, snap-on lid containers and the maintenance and sanitation of any individually owned carryout containers.

Do not put foods directly into carryout containers from any serving line, including self-service areas; all food requested will be placed on DFAC plates and bowls.

Transfer food from the plate received at the serving line to the carryout container after returning to the dining area.

All DFAC personnel have been trained on the procedures, Duffie said.

"Again, this is for the convenience of the Soldier," he said. "If it saves money is supply costs, that?'s even better."