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Commissary closings could leave food deserts for military families

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For some military families the nearest, most accessible, and least expensive, supermarket is the on-post commissary; unfortunately, in the latest round of military cuts, funding for those stores has hit the chopping block.

The proposed cuts came to light several weeks ago and immediately met with protests from military families in remote locations such as Fort Irwin, Calif., where no commissary can mean miles of driving to a grocery store, Sam’s Club, or Costco, leaving virtual food deserts for Soldiers and their families.

Local choices for shopping will be reduced to “get-n-go” stores often attached to gas stations; where the food is expensive and fresh food options are non-existent.

The reduced funding, over the next three years, will leave these commissaries with nearly one-quarter of its current budget; $1 billion short of funding in the past.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel released this from the Department of Defense this week:

"We must now consider fair and responsible adjustments to our overall military compensation package. Over three years we will reduce by $1 billion the annual direct subsidy provided to military commissaries, which now totals $1.4 billion."

The financial savings at the military’s own “Big Box” store is a crucial part of helping military families make ends meet. Taking away on-post shopping options will not only take away purchasing options, but add to the families' financial instability. Essentially, it will amount to a cut in pay.

Currently, many enlisted Soldiers and their families quality for food subsidy assistance from the government.

The National Military Examiner publishes military and military-related content from around the world that often misses mainstream media, including all troop losses. Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting the troops; they need you now more than ever.

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