DALLAS – As the 2020-21 school year gets under way, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is committed to providing nutritious meals to Warfighters’ children in a safe, secure, sanitized environment, whether students are dining in person or grabbing their food to go.
Almost all Department of Defense Education Activity schools in the Pacific and a handful in Europe are conducting on-line remote learning. Families may stop by their school at designated times each day for grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches. Exchange associates and school personnel will monitor and enforce social distancing when students and their families arrive.
For schools in Europe and the Pacific conducting in-person/on-site classes, students will pick up premade lunches and, depending on the school, eat in the cafeteria or a classroom. Lunch lines are subject to physical distancing requirements, serving stations are being sanitized every 30 minutes and serving lines are cleaned after each group of students are served.
“The Exchange is going above and beyond to deliver a safe, secure and sanitized experience for military students,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Osby, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Serving premade meals is the safest way to provide our students nutritious meals to help them thrive in the classroom, whether virtually or at school.”
The grab-and-go school meal program began in Korea in early March with schools in Europe, Okinawa and Japan coming on board later in the month. The program served more than 93,000 breakfasts and lunches until classes ended for summer break.
Since 1955, the Exchange has been the school feeding authority for the Army and Air Force. The school meal program is operated for military students overseas, serving more than 2.6 million meals a year. Nutritional standards for DoDEA student meals are set by the Exchange’s registered dietitian in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines.