• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 51s

With JBER commissary closed, soldiers forced to shop elsewhere

By KTVA Alaska 9:54 PM October 3, 2013

Military families shopping off-base as government shutdown closes base grocery store

ANCHORAGE – Military families were shopping at Sam’s Club in the Tikahtnu Commons on Thursday after the commissary on base was shut down, along with thousands of other federal jobs in Alaska, on the third day of a partial federal government closure.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” said Bobbi Lazo, an Army mother of three, as she wheeled a shopping cart full of hotdogs, milk and more away from the register. “We’re here because the commissary’s closed.”

Manager Doug McIntosh said that, during the shutdown, members of military can do their shopping at Sam’s Club without paying the annual membership fee.

”As long as the government closure continues, Sam’s club is going to open its doors to anyone who can show us any kind of military identification,” he said.

That’s good news for Sherrill Hill and her friend Tami Beasley. They walked from their homes on base to check a few items off their shopping list. Hill said off-base shopping is going to cost them a bit more than it would buying on base, but she has little choice.

“It’s closed,” she said, rolling her eyes. “No more commissary.”

It’s where she and her family spent nearly $200 every two weeks, not including money they save on coupons, which Hill said she clips diligently. “It all depends on what we all need,” she said, checking out. “If we need a lot of meats, then it’s about $250.”

Economists say about 15 to 20 percent of household income is spent on food. Spending on things like groceries and meals will likely be one of the first things to feel the squeeze of a government shutdown. For Hill, it’s buying in bulk and pushing every dollar as far as it goes. For now, that means shopping at Sam’s Club, until the shutdown ends and she can go back to buying groceries on base.

“This is stuff I would normally get at the commissary,” she said, holding a receipt with about $80 worth of groceries. “It’s a five minute walk from the house. Here it’s a little bit further but, it’s a walk!” she said, shrugging with a smile.

“It sucks, but it’s understandable. It happens.”

Latest Stories

  • News

    Gov. Walker to fly with President Obama to Alaska

    by Associated Press on Aug 29, 13:15

    Gov. Bill Walker will fly to Alaska with President Barack Obama on Monday. Walker’s office announced in a release Saturday that Walker will accompany the president aboard Air Force One from Washington, D.C. The president will address a State Department global warming conference Monday afternoon in Anchorage. He also has visits planned in Seward, Dillingham […]

  • Crime

    UPDATE: Suspect sought in connection with 1 of the overnight shootings in Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 29, 8:03

    Anchorage police say two men were injured in shootings that happened in the overnight hours between Friday and Saturday. APD is now seeking a suspect, Michael Sharp, in connection with one of those shootings. On Friday, officers went to two homes in response to a verbal altercation between three people, a 23-year-old woman, her 23-year […]

  • Sports

    Friday’s high school football recap

    by KTVA Sports on Aug 28, 22:57

    The weekend is off to a rousing start. The top-ranked team in the state, West survived a late charge by #2 Dimond, winning on the road at Alumni Field 18-13. The Eagles took an 18-0 lead into the half as Julo Tagalu scored twice and PJ Seui added a touchdown run. At Palmer, the Moose got their first win of the […]

  • Sports

    Service H.S. quarterback suspended

    by Dave Goldman on Aug 28, 22:42

    Service High Football will have to regroup. Sophomore starting quarterback Xavier Harris has been suspended from school. He will not be in uniform for Saturday’s game with Soldotna. “All we can say is we have a young man that’s been suspended from school and he will not be on the roster tomorrow.” said Service Head Coach […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, Aug. 28

    by KTVA Weather on Aug 28, 22:26

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Expect partly cloudy skies Saturday with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s.   Southeast Showers will be likely as an area of low pressure continues to churn up gulf moisture into the Panhandle. Highs will be in the mid 50s.   Interior/North Slope For the Interior, expect a chance […]

  • News

    Eating Alaskan at the Alaska State Fair

    by Shannon Ballard on Aug 28, 22:06

    It’s not hard to find people who like to eat their way through the Alaska State Fair. Beth Foglesong is one of them. Every year she stops at the Pristine Products booth to slurp some fresh oysters from Prince William Sound. “The people that like them come every year,” said oyster farmer Dave Sczawiaski. Sczawiaski’s oysters […]

  • News

    Presidential visits to Alaska: Memorable, if not quirky

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 28, 21:55

    With all the buildup to President Barack Obama’s visit to the 49th state next week, it’s worth a look back at past presidential visits. They’re far and few between. Usually, Alaska is not the destination but rather a refueling stop for Air Force One. What’s significant about this trip is the length of stay. Obama […]

  • News

    President Obama to announce Denali Commission as lead agency on community relocation project

    by Emily Russell / KNOM on Aug 28, 18:05

    The U.S. Arctic Research Commission was in Nome this week discussing Arctic issues ranging from international shipping to climate change. One presenter in particular unveiled a key detail about an initiative President Obama is expected to announce during his visit to the state next week—involving relocation efforts for rural villages in the face of climate […]