AAFES to provide grab-and-go meals to students as DoDEA’s ‘virtual’ schools open on Okinawa

AAFES to provide grab-and-go meals to students as DoDEA’s ‘virtual’ schools open on Okinawa

by Staff Sgt. Mark A. Kauffman
Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa —The Army & Air Force Exchange Service will continue to provide meals to students as Department of Defense Education Activity schools on Okinawa go “virtual” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting March 23, the Exchange is providing grab-and-go school meals to military children on Okinawa. A similar program started March 2 in Korea after schools in U.S. Army Garrison Daegu, USAG Humphreys and Osan Air Base in Korea went virtual.

“Since March 6, we have served nearly 2,100 meals to students in Korea as part of the grab-and-go breakfast and lunch program,” said Col. Scott Maskery, AAFES Pacific Region commander. “Here in Okinawa, we will continue this service until DoDEA leadership and local command teams have deemed it safe to reopen the schools.”

From March 23 to April 3, students can pick up their lunch Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Kinser Elementary School, Bechtel Elementary School, Lester Middle School, Zukeran Elementary School and Kadena Elementary School.

During meal pickups, Exchange associates and school personnel will be present to monitor and enforce strict social distancing requirements as students pick up lunches.

“Each location will have someone there to monitor so we don’t get a crowd of more than 20 people,” Maskery said. “We will also allow only 10 students to enter while monitoring safe distances while in line. Students are instructed to take their meals home to eat.”

All DoDEA schools in Japan and Okinawa are scheduled to resume classroom learning on April 13.

The Exchange operates the school meal program for military students overseas, serving more than 2.5 million meals a year.

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