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Commissary Fast Facts– Issue 76 – February 2008

DeCA’s Got Recycling in the Bag
Reusable cloth bags are fast replacing “paper or plastic” as the choice for commissary customers. The reusable bags, which cost 70 cents each, were introduced into commissaries in October and since then customers have purchased more than 300,000 at stores worldwide. DeCA’s reusable bag is made of sturdy mesh and holds 30 pounds of groceries – about three-quarters of the amount of a paper bag. The reusable bags are machine washable and can be recycled when no longer usable. Customers can find these bags on racks near the checkout. Customers can always use their own reusable cloth bags, but all bags must be clean and in good repair or the bagger cannot accept them. For more information about your commissary benefit, visit DeCA’s Web site at

Be Good to your Heart with Whole Grains at your Commissary
Eating as little as two and a half servings of whole grains daily can reduce the risk of heart disease, according to research. A serving is about one slice of bread or a half cup of a whole grain such as brown rice, oatmeal, wild rice, quinoa, barley or buckwheat. Choose whole grains while shopping and save 30 percent or more at the commissary. Look for the words “whole grain” in large letters on the package. On foods that have 51 percent or more of whole grain ingredients by weight and limited amounts of fat, cholesterol and sodium, there may also be the FDA-approved health claim: “Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods, and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.” Whole grain oat or psyllium foods may contain the claim: “Soluble fiber, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” On the list of ingredients shown on the package, look for the word “whole” in front of a grain to find a food that is high in whole grains, such as “whole wheat.” For more information on nutrition visit the DeCA Dietitian at

Scholarship Application Deadline is Feb. 20
Applications for the Scholarships for Military Children Program must be in the store—either by hand or mail—by close of business Feb. 20. They are available in commissaries worldwide or online through a link at and directly at, where they can be filled out on the computer and printed, or printed and filled out by hand. If you are not hand-delivering your application, program liaison Edna Hoogewind recommends using a delivery method that supplies a return receipt. The scholarship program is open to unmarried children under the age of 21 (23 if enrolled in school) of active-duty, Reserve, Guard and retired military personnel. Eligibility is determined by using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are currently enrolled in the DEERS database and that they have a current ID card. All applicants must be U.S. citizens attending, or planning to attend, an accredited college or university full-time in the fall term of 2008. Students at community or junior colleges must be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program. Students are reminded to check all materials carefully ensuring that they use the 2008 application and sign it. Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization best known for building comfort homes near military medical facilities, administers the Scholarships for Military Children program. Fisher House uses the services of Scholarship Managers, a professional firm that has handled more than 400 programs, to screen applicants and award scholarships. Neither Fisher House nor DeCA are involved in the decision process.

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