Commissaries cancel spring sidewalk sales, product demos and more amid COVID-19 concerns
FORT LEE, Va. – Military commissaries worldwide are cancelling many special events such as the April/May sidewalk sales because of COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns, said the sales director of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA).
“The cancellation of these events is due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our employees, customers and industry partners,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s director of sales.
In addition to spring sidewalk sales, DeCA is cancelling in-store product demonstrations, which includes DeCA’s free coffee program; group tours; vendor-sponsored events; new CLICK2GO celebrations; and Month of the Military Child activities such as store tours and coloring contests. This year’s Scholarships for Military Children recipients will receive their awards but without public ceremonies.
The agency is also postponing Vietnam War-era veterans’ recognition ceremonies; and effective March 16, and until further notice, all agency meetings with its industry partners – will be done electronically through teleconference or WebEx.
DeCA’s announcement comes as the commissary agency follows DOD and CDC health care protocols to help ensure public safety and mission readiness.
Customers are advised to check their store for details or visit their store page for any local activities that affect their store.
Commissary customers worried about whether or not it’s safe to shop in the store shouldn’t be, said Army Lt. Col. Angela Parham, DeCA director of health and safety.
“We follow the highest standards of DOD health protection in our stores,” she said. “This means we are always vigilant to ensure our workforce follows the strictest precautionary measures including routine hand washing and other basic sanitation measures to avoid spreading germs.
“Our commissaries undergo daily sanitizing, disinfecting and cleaning regimens tailored to protect our customers’ health,” Parham added. “These routine measures used by food establishments to prevent ordinary foodborne illness also work to keep viruses from spreading and help keep customers and employees from getting sick.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Commissary sidewalk sales normally scheduled for April and May have been cancelled. (DeCA photo)
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. 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.