Military Students Overseas to Receive Free School Meals

DALLAS – Beginning Nov. 2, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service in conjunction with the
Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), will be
serving free meals to all students enrolled at DoDEA schools overseas that are operated by one
of the USDA approved School Food Authorities (Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Navy
Exchange or Marine Corps Community Services).
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently granted a waiver to the DoD School Food
Authorities to provide free school meals through June 30, 2021,” said Air Force Chief Master
Sgt. Kevin Osby, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s senior enlisted advisor. “This is
great news for our military families, especially during these challenging times.”
Families can elect to participate and receive free reimbursable (subsidized by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture) meals at participating schools and grab-and-go locations beginning
Nov. 2. Participants are required to have a DoDEA student ID number and student meal account
through the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Navy Exchange or Marine Corps Community
Services. No action is required to receive free school meals for students with an established
school meal program account. Parents of those without an account are encouraged to create one
in advance for their children at their local Exchange customer service.
“I was thrilled and excited to hear about the free lunches for my daughters,” said Master Sgt.
Brando O. Perez, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36’s senior enlisted leader for operation
management division at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa. “This will not only help
us financially, but will help so many families who are stationed in Okinawa during the COVID19 pandemic.”
School meals purchased prior to implementation of the waiver (August through Oct. 31), will be
credited to the appropriate student meal program account. The credit does not apply to adult
meals, second meals, a la carte items or “lunch plus” purchases.
“This is great news for families who may be experiencing financial hardships during this
pandemic,” said Air Force Tech Sgt. Robert Harris, a fleet manager with the 86th Vehicle
Readiness Squadron at Ramstein AB. “I believe it’s something that will help give peace of
For additional information, including FAQs, parents can visit the school meal program site at
Since 1955, the Exchange has been the school

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