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Your Military Kid Hates School Lunch? Blame These Other Kids

Chrissy Quintero, Army & Air Force Exchange Service inventory specialist, helps third-grader Juan David Rodea give feedback on a meal option under consideration for overseas Department of Defense school. (AAFES)
Chrissy Quintero, Army & Air Force Exchange Service inventory specialist, helps third-grader Juan David Rodea give feedback on a meal option under consideration for overseas Department of Defense school. (AAFES)

It's always nice to have someone to blame for something you don't like. And if you're a consumer of school lunch at an overseas (OCONUS) school, that person could be a student from Dallas, Texas.

Everyone knows that cafeteria food can be dicey. That's a general fact of life. But the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), provides school lunches at 78 schools on military bases overseas, decided to tackle the problem with a little child labor ... er ... volunteers from a school near their headquarters.

Students from Advantage Academy in Dallas visited AAFES headquarters early this month to taste test potential new menu items. Their feedback will be added to input from adult taste testers, OCONUS parent and student testers, input from this survey and "the results of a competitive bidding process among food vendors," according to a recent news release.

The resulting new menu items will show up on the menu for next school year, the release said. The schools also use baked goods made by AAFES facilities, which bake with "American flour," in case you care about that sort of thing.

OCONUS school lunches currently run $2.75 and $3.00 for elementary and secondary schools, respectively, with lower or no cost for the free or reduced lunch programs. Those prices have seen an increase for the past two years running. Prior to that they were $2.40 and $2.55 for several years in a row.

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