Commissaries and Exchanges a Vital Part of Life In Hawaii

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June 13, 2012 — Shopping at the military commissaries and exchanges is a 150 year old benefit that provides thousands of dollars in savings to service members and their families.  The American Logistics Association Hawaii, a group of member companies who sells products and services to commissaries and exchanges, is joining a national movement speaking out on behalf of this benefit that enhances service members and families quality of life.

At a time when budget reductions are under consideration, a coalition of military families, advocacy groups and local businesses have formed to preserve the highly valued shopping privileges on military bases. Shopping at commissaries and exchanges provides significant household savings for military families.  Visit, to show your support.  Your voice counts and you can help by speaking out on behalf of service members and their families.


“More than 164,000 military service members, retirees, and family members live on Oahu, making the commissaries and exchanges essential to the fabric of military members quality of life in Hawaii,” said Sharon Zambo-Fan, American Logistics Association Hawaii spokesperson.  “Service members and their families serve our nation and deserve high quality products in a secure shopping environment.  It is our goal as ALA member companies to provide those services.”   ALA Hawaii companies represent the broad spectrum of grocery and specialty products including local coffee, meat, produce, beverages and snack foods.  Not only does the commissary and exchange system provide valuable services to those who serve our country, the military resale system represents a valuable market for Hawaii companies.  In 2010, DeCA purchased products valued at $40 million from 93 local companies and additionally $4.7 million (5.2 million pounds) of locally grown produce.

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) operates four commissaries on Oahu and a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families.  Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus 5% surcharge, which covers the cost of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones.  Commissary shoppers in Hawaii save 50.7% with annual savings for a family of four of $7,360.

The American Logistics Association (ALA) is a nonprofit trade association of manufacturers, manufacturers, representatives, brokers, distributors, publishers and service providers, who sell or provide products to the military resale systems and to various military morale, welfare and recreation services activities.

The military resale system also strengthens the American economy by promoting American products overseas and has generated more than $20 billion in earnings over the past 20 years, which has been plowed back into funding programs and facilities for military families. These facilities are funded by the patrons and then given back to the taxpayer as they become part of the Government’s inventory.  The system is also an extremely powerful job engine, providing more than 30,000 well-paying jobs to veterans and military families.

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  1. I think we owe so much to the military that we should help their families as much as we can. It's not like they come home and get so much money that they live stress free lives….although they should.

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