Meal card holders see new food purchase limits

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mozer O. Da Cunha
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The Red River Dinning Facility and The Lift have implemented new food purchase limits for meal card holders as of Dec. 3.

These limits were implemented to prevent abuse of the Essential Station Messing system, reduce waste and regulate supply stocks while reducing the cost for the base.

"Waste is a big issue here," said Tech. Sgt. Vincent Sims, 2nd Force Support Squadron NCO in-charge of dining facility. "We have folks coming in here ordering multiple eat some of the food and throw away the rest. That happens here daily."

However, Airmen who feel they need more than what the new limits offer have the option to make a secondary transaction.

"Airmen are allotted four transactions per day," Sims said. "If an Airmen feels they need more food they can go on the line and process another transaction as long as they don't go over the allowed four transactions per day."

The new limits do not apply to non meal card holders.

Additionally, wasting food wasn't the only misuse of the ESM system.

"Another thing we noticed was some of the Airmen would buy way more than they are supposed to," said 1st Lt. Christina Buchholz, 2nd Force Support Squadron chief of food operations. "Regulation states that you buy what you need for one meal, you are not allowed to buy for anyone else you work with, and you are not allowed to buy for more than one meal."

Purchases made with the meal card are reviewed by both the comptroller squadron and Air Force Personnel Center.

"We receive reports from AFPC flagging transactions that seem suspicious or over the limit," Buchholz said. "Once we receive the report of flagged purchases, we send those to the first sergeants and they work with the accountants to clear them up."

The changes also aim to improve logistics within the DFAC.
"We have an ordering matrix that dictates the amount of food and drink each person is presumed to consume daily," Sims said. "We can't order properly if our paperwork tells us that each individual should consume a certain amount of items and they come in and order twice that amount.

Keeping stock was a challenge prior to the changes.

"Prior to these regulations there was no control," Sims said. "We would order supplies and even if we ordered more than the projected numbers, we would still run out sooner than expected."

Manning was also a contributing factor to the regulation changes.

"With the new Food Transformation Initiative everything that we have here is freshly cut," Buchholz said. "It takes one dedicated Airmen the entire day to prepare items, and we noticed were selling out earlier because people were purchasing multiple meals at once. We are trying to feed more people, instead of feeding fewer people with more."

With the new regulations dining facility management aims to reduce waste, stop abuse and regulate stock while reducing operational costs for the base.