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The Tofurky jerky has been a hit among service members, and many will get the Tofurky roast with gravy for the holidays, Mr. Tibbott said. By next year, the company expects to be selling as many as 5,000 units to the commissaries.

After the Pentagon, the second largest government turkey purchaser is the Justice Department — specifically the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which provides meals for the nation’s prison population. Feeding the nation’s inmates, estimated at between 1.5 and 2 million individuals, has cost roughly $583 million since 2010, according to federal spending records.