Photo courtesy of Ft. Leonard Wood

One of Fort Leonard Wood’s largest meals of the year is being prepared at the southern Missouri base. About 300 food service workers are whipping up roughly 12,000 lunch meals and another 30,000 throughout the day for service members staying on the base over Thanksgiving. Public Affairs Director Tiffany Wood says Army soldiers, family members and veterans will feast on thousands of pounds of turkey, shrimp and beef and other traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

“It’s one that our soldiers enjoy and the food service staff and the unit leaders really get pumped up for this meal. Unit leaders will actually serve the food to the soldiers that day. So, it’s a pretty special day,” says Wood. “It’s quite a meal. The food service workers – they take a lot of pride. A lot of them will tell you that you know, it’s kind of their way to give back to the soldiers to make sure they have a nice holiday.”

Wood says the event is a major undertaking.

Photo courtesy of Ft. Leonard Wood

“The planning for our Thanksgiving meal starts months in advance to ensure we get the right products in and the right quantities that we need,” says Wood. “The entire week of Thanksgiving they’re busy prepping the meal and getting ready for it.”

She says the food does not go to waste.

There are leftovers and those leftovers, it varies,” Wood says. “But they are used in additional meals throughout the day or throughout the next day.”

Fort Leonard Wood has one of the largest dining areas within the Department of Defense.

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