(KMOV)-- Thursday marks the beginning of the annual Military Exodus where troops from all over get to go home for the holidays.
Close to 8,000 of them are expected to use Lambert International Airport to get there.
With so many troops coming to town, how to feed all of them is a huge issue. So St. Louis business owners stepped up a donated enough food to feed them all.
Lumiere Place executives brought 2,000 sandwiches to the U.S.O. Thursday. Shop and Save donated 2,000 more sandwiches, Subway donated 7,000 cookies, and Red Bull and Anheuser Bush left pallets of energy drinks for all of the troops.
The soldiers get all of these goodies 100% free.
A spokesperson with the U.S.O. told News 4 to pull this off it has to be a collective effort.
The bulk of the troops will arrive Friday.