Missouri’s largest military base makes Thanksgiving special for personnel


What’s very likely the biggest Thanksgiving feast in Missouri takes place at the Fort Leonard Wood military installation.

The base provides nearly 11,000 meals during its annual lunch celebration and more than 25,000 throughout the day.  Four tons of turkey is required to pull off the event which takes place in ten dining halls.

Installation Food Program manager William Moffitt says logistics have to be coordinated with the primary food vendor far in advance.  “We basically give them our estimated amounts of what we need at least six months out, prior to Thanksgiving” said Moffitt.  “That way, they can reach out to their sub-vendors and make sure that Fort Leonard Wood gets the turkey they need.”

In addition to turkey, 900 pounds of shrimp, 3,000 pounds of rib eye and more than 2,000 pies are served as part of the meal.

The food’s prepared by more than 300 contract food service employees.  The celebration is so big, it encompasses those workers as well as the service members and guests they serve.  Moffitt says the base’s ten dining halls compete in categories such as best meal and best decorations.  “It’s an event.  So not only are they just preparing a Thanksgiving meal, they compete against each other.  Then we provide and award for the best out of all ten dining facilities.”

Written by Jason Taylor


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