• 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

    After flooding, crews begin repair work on closed Dalton Highway

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 25, 8:32

    After Gov. Bill Walker signed a second disaster declaration last week over flooding on the Dalton Highway, state transportation officials say water levels have dropped enough to allow for repair work on the still-closed road. “This is what we’ve prepared for and what we’ve been waiting for. Today we were able to give crews the directive […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, May 25

    by Brett Shepard on May 25, 8:06

    Southcentral Mostly cloudy skies with showers throughout the day. Southeast Mostly to partly cloudy skies. Interior Mostly cloudy skies with some much-needed showers at times. North Slope Mostly cloudy with showers to the west. West Mostly cloudy skies with rain to the south. Southwest Cloudy skies with wet weather at times.

  • Sports

    Anchorage hockey star turned pro comes back home to help youth

    by Jake Edmonds on May 25, 7:18

    Fresh off helping Team USA win gold in the women’s hockey championships in Sweden, Anchorage native Zoe Hickel returned home this week. It’s a normal routine for Hickel, who has been attending the University of Minnesota Duluth for the past four years and coming home during the summer to help her mother, Cristy, coach the […]

  • News

    Memorial Day: 1,300 crosses to honor fallen heroes

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 24, 18:55

    American Legion Auxiliary members and other community members placed poppy-decked crosses on the graves of fallen veterans Sunday in downtown Anchorage. “Post 1 has been doing this for over 30 years out here, placing crosses on the graves of veterans on Memorial Day to honor the service, the fact that they gave the ultimate price,” […]

  • News

    Coast Guard responds to Cook Inlet fuel spill

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 24, 17:48

    The Coast Guard and other agencies are responding to a fuel spill in southeastern Cook Inlet. The report of a landing craft with a punctured tanker just south of Port Graham came in Saturday, according to a Coast Guard release. “The crew of a 116-foot landing craft, Thor’s Hammer, were transiting from Seward to Bristol […]

  • News

    Seeking the Source: Artists map one of Anchorage’s most beloved trails

    by Sierra Starks on May 24, 14:46

    Be it human feet, moose hooves, bike tires or dog paws, Anchorage’s Chester Creek Trail has seen its fair share of visitors. The trail’s special guests this week were artists, from Alaska and the Lower 48. Adorned in bright green vests and sashes with yellow badges, the eight artists set out to map the Chester […]

  • News

    Juneau theater community remembers PJ Paparelli

    by Associated Press on May 24, 14:39

    After his recent death in Scotland, the Juneau theater community remembers a prominent director as highly respected, if not always liked. The Juneau Empire reports (http://bit.ly/1PFTlHz ) that Paul Joseph “PJ” Paparelli died in a car accident Thursday. He was 40. Paparelli served as artistic director for Perseverance Theater from 2004 until 2007. The plays […]

  • News

    In Bethel, female body found near Pinky’s Park Boardwalk

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 24, 14:21

    A body was found early Sunday morning in the area of the boardwalk at Pinky’s Park in Bethel, police say. At around 4 a.m., the Bethel Police Department responded to reports of a dead body found at Pinky’s Park. When officers arrived to the area, they found the remains of a female in nearby bushes, […]