Nov. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. military's annual Thanksgiving Feed-the-Troops tradition will shift to a grab-and-go style takeout meal as opposed to large group gatherings in dining facilities.
The Defense Logistics Agency announced the changes motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday while ensuring that service members will still receive home-cooked meals "with all the trimmings" for the Thanksgiving holiday.
"The holidays will look quite different this year for everyone," DLA's Troop Support commander Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawerence said. "I'm proud that our workforce is doing everything possible to make sure our warfighters get a proper holiday meal, especially since many of us will not be able to be with our family and friends. We want to make sure that they get that taste of home no matter where they are in the world."
The DLA said it has shipped out 9,000 whole turkeys, 51,000 pounds of roasted turkeys, 74,000 pounds of beef, 21,000 pounds of ham, 67,000 pounds of shrimp, 16,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, 19,000 pounds of pies and cakes and 7,000 gallons of eggnog for the annual meal.
"Our supply chain takes the holidays very seriously," said Army Col. Eric McCoy, DLA's Troop Support subsistence director. "Our troops are far away from home and they definitely look forward to this meal. Disappointing them is not an option."
The changes to the meal come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month urged Americans not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.