By CNN's Elaine Quijano
WASHINGTON (CNN) - On a day when Americans sit down for Thanksgiving dinner with family members and friends, the Pentagon is trying to provide a taste of home to thousands of U.S. service members who are far away from loved ones this year.
The Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency has made plans to ship Thanksgiving meals to roughly 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan this year, according to Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. In order to accommodate military personnel working different shifts, the meals are to be served around the clock today at many of the larger military dining facilities in both countries, Morrell said.
Providing those Thanksgiving feasts requires huge quantities of food, including 63,000 pounds of potatoes, 8,700 cans of cranberry sauce, 61,000 pounds of stuffing and more than 465,000 pounds of turkey, according to Morrell.
And for dessert, there will be 67,000 pies and cakes.
Morrell says the men and women of the armed forces deserve America's thanks.
"With this we send to our troops a small reminder of our immeasurable gratitude for all they do to serve our country. We also, of course, convey our hopes for their safe return home."