MWR Marketing Staff Writer
CAM stands for Commissary Awareness Month – a time when all commissary patrons can learn more about how to make the most of their commissary benefit. With the constant influx of new members in the military, each year Defense Commissary Agency uses the month of May to spread the word about how it delivers the commissary benefit to the armed services community.
At installations around the world, a variety of activities and promotions are especially designed to reach new and single service members. With extensive health and wellness sections, lean meats, fresh produce, organics and more, commissaries offer “healthy food at healthy savings” to all its customers – whether married or single, active duty, National Guard, Reserve or retired.
Each year, DeCA challenges Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers programs to come up with the best Commissary Awareness Campaign. This year, Fort Drum BOSS met the challenge by producing a cookbook called “Bistro in the Barracks” and hosting a cooking demonstration at the post commissary. More than 150 Soldiers attended the event. Each received a copy of the cookbook and tasted the many dishes prepared.
Chef Chris Manning, head chef for the Jefferson County Children’s Home, demonstrated for Soldiers simple cooking techniques and recipes that are both healthy and delicious. All of the recipes were made using simple cookware such as a tabletop grill and a microwave oven. Manning emphasized the quality and variety of food the commissary provides for them.
The commissary coordinated sponsorship of the food for this event through its vendors, including three $50 gift certificates, while the Army & Air Force Exchange Service provided the necessary cookware and numerous giveaways.
Fort Drum BOSS recognizes the need for healthy eating habits and realizes the difficulties for Soldiers living in the barracks to prepare and eat good food. Often, Soldiers resort to eating fast foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates. By supporting DeCA and the Commissary Awareness Campaigns, BOSS endeavors to help Soldiers make healthier meal choices by showing them how simple and easy good food can be to prepare.
Fort Drum BOSS members hope the Bistro in the Barracks cookbook and demonstration at the post commissary will earn them the first place prize and cash award in the Commissary Awareness Campaign.