Military students overseas to receive free school meals

Military students overseas to receive free school meals

by U.S. Navy
U.S. Navy

On Nov. 2, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) will begin serving meals free of charge to military students who are enrolled in an overseas Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school. The free meal waiver was granted the U.S. Department of Agriculture for food services operated by School Food Authorities (NEXCOM, Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) or Marine Corps Community Services).

“Providing free school meals is a great way to ensure all of our student customers have access to healthy and fresh food,” said Orlando Del Hoyo, Student Meal Program Specialist for NEXCOM. “This effort will also lessen the financial burden on our service members and their families during these unprecedented times. NEXCOM remains in close coordination with DoDEA and the USDA to ensure a successful rollout.”

A recent waiver by the USDA granted DoD School Food Authorities the authority to provide free school meals through June 30, 2021. Families can elect to participate and receive free reimbursable meals, subsidized by the USDA, 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 NEXCOM, the AAFES or the Marine Corps Community Services. No action is required to receive free school meals for students with an established school meal program account. Parents without an account are encouraged to create one in advance for their children at their local NEX customer service desk.

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.

NEXCOM facilitates student meals and serves as the DoD School Food Authorities at 20 schools in nine different overseas locations. Those overseas locations supported are Yokosuka, Atsugi and Sasebo, Japan; Anderson Air Force Base and U.S. Naval Base Guam; Naples, Italy; Bahrain; Sigonella, Sicily;  Rota, Spain; and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

For additional information, including FAQs, parents can visit the school meal program site at is www.mynavyexchange.com/smp.

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