DOD initiative will reduce prices at commissaries

By Defense Commissary Agency and Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsOctober 5, 2022

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2022) — Service members and their families will soon see a 3-5 percent decrease in pricing on most grocery items in their commissaries as part of a Department of Defense (DOD) initiative to bolster the economic security and stability of the military community.

1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – ASCII (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – ASCII (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

DOD’s “Taking Care of Service Members and Families” initiative lays out comprehensive actions to support military members struggling with the financial impacts of inflation, supply chain disruptions and the pandemic.

“The Department’s added investment in our budget allows us to reduce commissary prices at the register about 3-5 percent on most items – particularly on food staples that struggling military families need most such as bread, eggs, milk and more,” said Bill Moore, director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). “With this boost we can achieve at least 25 percent in overall savings for eligible patrons who shop their commissaries.”

Commissary customers are expected to see price changes at most locations by mid-October. Pricing on some products and categories will vary.

“We’re excited to implement this program here locally to benefit the military community on the Central Coast,” said Alex J. King, Director of Ord Community & Fort Hunter Liggett commissaries. “This program helps us fulfill our commitment to give the best possible benefit to our service members and their families, and all members of our military community who shop at the commissary.”

King also encouraged commissary shoppers to consider making use of the “Click 2 Go” online ordering system.

“For those patrons who may not have time to shop or come into the store, Click 2 Go is a great time saver. You can shop right from your phone the night before and schedule a pickup the next day without having to get out of your car. It’s very convenient for those shoppers with time constraints.” King said.

Before the additional DOD funding, DeCA was able to provide service members and their families with discounted groceries that cost on average 22 percent less than civilian grocery stores for fiscal year 2022.

“Going forward with the Department’s initiatives, we want to sustain the increased savings through fiscal year 2023 and exceed the 25 percent benchmark to the extent our resources allow,” Moore said.

“In addition to the savings, we provide healthy food options, clean and safe stores, convenience and premier customer service for our service members and their families,” Moore said. “Commissaries are there when our military families need them most, even in disasters or pandemics or periods of inflation. We’re an insurance policy to ensure food security for our military families. With all that value and now additional savings, our patrons would be very smart to shop their commissaries.”

“Taking Care of Service Members and Families” aligns with DOD’s overall campaign for economic security, first announced November 2021 when the Department unveiled its “Military Leader's Economic Security Toolkit” on Military OneSource. The webpage is a central landing spot to help leaders connect service members and their families with resources they need to help boost their economic readiness.

The commissary benefit portion of the economic toolkit is spotlighted on the DeCA website, specifically on its “We’re Stronger Together” page that links military members to patron savings and nutritious options.

DeCA is also expanding efforts to ensure all eligible patrons know about their benefit, particularly targeting the millions of disabled veterans (DAV) who became eligible for the benefit in January 2020, said Marine Sgt. Maj. Michael Saucedo, senior enlisted advisor to the DeCA director.

“We are working closely with veterans’ groups to reach our DAVs and with the active duty military to increase awareness of the benefit to troops earlier in their careers,” he said. “And as we spread the word on this much-needed benefit to all our eligible customers, we are striving to anticipate our patrons’ needs, offer premier customer service and do what it takes to be their grocery provider of choice.”

Commissaries are also pushing out more initiatives to include expanded hours of operation, use of technology services such as Click 2 Go online shopping and curbside pickup.

“We are a food security resource for our customers, and as such, we are doing everything we can to get our precious military families the products they need – at the lowest price possible,” Moore said.