The Department of Defense has shipped less Thanksgiving food to kitchens and galleys across the world this year, for troops and others, the lightest in five years, though the amount of whole turkeys distributed increased by 60% since 2021, according to data reviewed by Military.com.
Desserts were also up 25% from last year.
More than 375,000 pounds of holiday food have been shipped out by the Defense Logistics Agency, or DLA, which provides logistical, acquisition, and technical support for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and other federal agencies and allies.
Service members around the world received an estimated 9,155 whole turkeys, 41,745 pounds of roasted turkeys, 41,043 pounds of beef, 23,979 pounds of ham, 17,884 pounds of shrimp, 9,009 pounds of sweet potatoes, 85,971 pounds of pies and cakes, 2,274 gallons of eggnog and other holiday treats.
That compared with 67,860 pounds of shrimp in 2018, and sweet potatoes saw their lowest weight since 2018 and dropped by a staggering 77% from last year.
The DLA started working on Thanksgiving meal orders last March.
"We receive order forecasts from the services in the March time frame and relay that information to all of our vendors around the globe, and they begin ordering products to support the meal.
"Over the next several months, we track delivery of products to the vendors' warehouses. We then take it a step further by tracking every single Defense Department order [that] is placed and delivered just prior to Thanksgiving," Navy Capt. Tim Griffin told Defense.gov.
Army Brig. Gen. Eric Shirley, DLA Troop Support commander, told Military.com. Troop Support was "working hard throughout the year to provide for our warfighters both at home and far away — especially during the holidays."
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