Stock your fridge and brace yourself! With the government shutdown Oct. 1 commissaries stateside will be closed starting Oct. 2, according to officials with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA).
They will be open Oct. 1, the first official day of the shutdown, so that they can offload perishable foods, they said.
“In the event of a shutdown, stateside commissaries, including Alaska and Hawaii, will be open for a full business day on Oct. 1 to reduce the amount of perishables on-hand before beginning a systematic closure process to account for unsold products and secure facilities,” officials said in a statement released this afternoon.
It was not clear if that means perishable foods will be sold at a reduced cost in the event of the shutdown or not.
Stores overseas in all OCONUS locations except Alaska and Hawaii will remain open, they said.
“We are acutely aware of the hardships placed on all our customers if we cannot deliver their commissary benefit,” said Joseph Jeu, DeCA’s director said in the statement.”However, because of their geographic location, our servicemembers and their families overseas have a more critical dependence on commissaries, and we are prepared to continue that support.”
If Congress cannot pass a budget or continuing resolution that creates funding for all aspects of the US government by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, the government will be forced to shut down, ending many services seen as “non-essential” until funding is created. If the shutdown extends into mid-October servicemembers will not receive a mid-month paycheck, but will instead be given “back pay” after funding is passed by Congress and signed by President Barrack Obama. Many civilian workers will be also be temporarily furloughed and will not receive back pay.
If a shutdown occurs on-base schools and child care centers will remain open and Exchanges will continue to operate as well as most services at on-base hospitals. MWR programs, however, would likely halt.
The last time the government came to the brink of a shutdown, in 2011, the commissaries were among the services that the Defense Department chose to keep open, after initially announcing that they would close. That shutdown was avoided in a last minute government funding deal between the House and Senate.