The Pentagon has proposed a plan that would cut $1 billion from the commissary’s budget over the next three years, Military.com reports.
The commissary agency currently operates 247 stores across the world. All but 24 rural stores would be closed under the proposed plan.
The plan would cut the commissary agency’s $1.4 billion annual budget to $400 million.
"If DeCA's budget is cut to such a magnitude, it would ultimately require DeCA to close stores or change the way it delivers the commissary benefit," a source with knowledge of the proposed cuts told Military.com. "But those options would mean military families would have to pay more for their groceries, significantly reducing the non-pay compensation benefit provided through the commissaries. Once again, military families are being forced to sacrifice their hard-earned money to achieve deficit reductions by having their benefits reduced or eliminated." […]
DeCA’s $1.4 billion annual budget funds employee salaries, keeps the lights on in stores and pays for food to be shipped to overseas locations. A congressionally mandated five percent surcharge on all commissary sales pays for other operation costs such as construction and building maintenance.
A recent grocery store study by DeCA found that using the commissary saves shoppers an average of 30.5 percent annually when compared to other stores off base.