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thedrifter
11-16-06, 07:30 PM
November 16, 2006
Deployed troops await their holiday food fests

By Karen Jowers

How many pies does it take to feed an army for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

For the troops in Iraq, the answer is 40,320 pumpkin pies.

Plus the same number of cherry pies. And a similar number of pecan pies. Oh, and ditto for sweet potato pies.

And just for good measure, another 36,270 apple pies.

Toss in a small mountain of tortes, cakes and candy canes, and you have a selection guaranteed to satisfy virtually any sweet tooth.

All those goodies are already awaiting the troops as part of their upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts.

But that’s just the proverbial icing on the cake; also on tap are 169,344 pounds of shrimp, 752 cases of whole turkeys and 5,124 cases of cranberry sauce, all of it courtesy of the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan, meanwhile, will get about 11,000 pounds of whole turkeys and 6,480 pounds of shrimp. And they’re getting far more beef tenderloin — 117,216 pounds — compared with 1,200 pounds ordered by officials in Iraq.

The variety of meat, from beef tenderloin to ham, is just for starters. Trimmings from stuffing to sweet potatoes and non-alcoholic wine are ready, too. For Iraq, that includes 13,206 cans of sweet potatoes and 44,000 pounds of stuffing mix. Afghanistan gets 11,738 pounds of frozen green beans.

The list of items is longer for Iraq — 36 compared with 21 for Afghanistan — partly because officials in Iraq ordered more desserts, said supply center spokeswoman Lorraine Netzko.

Officials in Iraq also requested about 1,400 cases each of frozen collard greens and turnip greens.

All told, the cost of the holiday foodstuffs for troops in Afghanistan costs about $560,000 for Thanksgiving and a similar amount for Christmas. The Thanksgiving feast in Iraq totals $5.1 million, and for Christmas, $3.6 million.

Ellie