Thanksgiving is right around the bend, and Fort Jackson Dining Facilities are gearing up for competition.

Every year at this time, DFACs installation-wide compete for the title of Best DFAC in several categories: best decorated, culinary display -- measuring how well food is showcased, originality display and best theme.

The purpose is "to build camaraderie amongst the different dining facilities," said Robert Cook of the Logistical Readiness Center.

It all began to "promote thanksgiving … a spirit of thanks ... competition," he added.

Each DFAC competes; there are eight entries in total this year, since one unit is out of cycle.

The best decorated category awardee receives a trophy. Winners in the other categories earn a plaque.

This year's themes, thought up by the DFACs, include Hollywood, Mardi Gras, and a Groovy 1970s Thanksgiving, Cook said.

The same food items will be served at each.

A traditional Thanksgiving spread is on the menu this year, with a few less conventional items in the mix.

Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese are of course included, as are the less expected pistachio salad and lemon-peppered salmon.

SIDEBAR
The amount of food Fort Jackson will be serving is:
Turkey - 5,028 pounds
Ham - 3,290 pounds
Cornish hens - 7,254 pounds
Salmon fillets - 1,130 pounds
Beef (carving) - 3,486 pounds
Shrimp - 780 pounds
Chicken gizzards - 220 pounds
Green beans - 3,480 pounds
Collard greens - 3,168 pounds
Cob corn - 13,824 cobs
Yellow squash - 1,764 pounds
Sweet potatoes - 3,838 pounds
Instant potato mix - 5,480 pounds
Gravy mix - 900 pounds
Stuffing mix - 567 pounds
Cornbread stuffing - 1,278 pounds
Cornbread mix - 870 pounds
Assorted rolls - 22,950 rolls
Cranberry sauce - 94 pounds
Fresh cut fruit - 211 gallons
Assorted pies - 1,164 pies
Assorted cakes - 382 cakes
Assorted cheesecakes - 468 cheesecakes
Fruit cake - 384 pounds