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Commissaries to Remain Open During Shutdown

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2011 – All commissaries will remain open worldwide even if the government shuts down, Pentagon Spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan said today.

The Defense Commissary Agency with headquarters at Fort Lee, Virginia, operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families.

Agency officials say the commissaries are a core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits. Commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5–percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones.

Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices—savings worth about $4,400 annually for a family of four.

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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

4/13/2011 11:19:17 PM
Exchange? Jarrod from Virginia, the Commissary system is not for profit. Exchanges run for profit and help fund MWR. In Mississippi, sales tax is 7%, automatic 2% savings. I work for a commissary and I'm an authorized shopper due to my military service. The commissary is a benefit for any shopper who keeps an eye on sales, uses military coupons, and realizes that 'loss leaders' are not available. I've seen green meat at Winn Dixie, "the beef people", you won't see that at a commissary. 5% surcharge builds the facilities and keeps the light on.
- Darla, Mississippi

4/8/2011 9:33:45 PM
It's bad enough we aren't going to get paid but to lie and say we are saving mass amounts of money at the commissary is just a joke! The items are generally priced 25% higher than local stores plus we are charged a surcharge;that's not a tax just a helpful penalty for shopping at the Exchange. Senior leadership needs to stop lying to us and just tell us what's going happening. Believe it or not this isn't the 1960s, where everyone was trusting, that day ended long ago.
- Jarrod, Virginia

4/8/2011 9:24:26 PM
Really? And how is this helping us when we won't have any money to spend at the commissary?
- Brandy, Kirtland AFB, NM

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