Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs
Editor’s Note: The Exchange announced software issues they are working to resolve by the opening of school. View the message, Aug. 25, here.
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service will implement several improvements to its overseas school lunch program this year.
Starting in the fall semester, the Exchange will expand menu options, bring in higher-quality food ingredients and implement a new electronic payment system.
The changes come in response to requests from students and parents and will enable the Exchange to serve a wider variety of students than previously possible, said Dora Rivas, school nutrition program specialist for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.
“It’s a big challenge to meet the needs of all of our students, and we have such a diverse population across the world with a lot of different unique preferences,” she said. “This will improve the offerings and hopefully please both students and faculty alike.”
The new payment site allows parents to deposit money to their child’s account from a centralized website that keeps up with the account balance from duty station to duty station. Parents can also access the website from the customer service desk at their local Exchange.
“It will be much easier for parents to make a payment there instead of having to go directly to the school,” Rivas said. “In the past, if the family moved to another duty station it was a manual process to get all the information about their account moved over to their next location. Now that our districts are consolidated, that information goes with the student wherever they go.”
Other changes include a greater number of vegetarian menu options and an improved food allergy tracking system that uses a centralized database to alert cafeteria workers if a child attempts to purchase something containing an allergen.
“We have worked to make sure that all the ingredients that we use are marked and identified in our upgraded system,” Rivas said. “Parents can even use the system if they don’t want their children buying certain types of items. Parents can also download the MyPaymentPlus app from iTunes or Google store for their mobile phone or tablets and have access on the go. It’s much faster and more comprehensive now that we have a fully automated system.”
Parents can go to MyPaymenyPlus.com for more information about the app. The new menu will be released soon and will be available through local schools.