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Turkey Shortage At Food Banks Nationwide

Turkeys are in short supply at food banks this Thanksgiving. Pantry owners cite increased food costs and the economy.

frozen turkey

Photo: Nico Hogg (Flickr)

Pantries are feeling the pinch as turkeys rise in cost and donations decline.

Across the United States, food banks are dealing with shortages in turkeys.

“It’s just not here this Thanksgiving,” Feeding America food bank’s Ken Kupchick says.

Donations nationwide are down drastically — River Valley food bank in Arkansas says last year they had 2,000 to 4,000 turkeys to donate. This year they only have around 200.

The Center for Food Action in New Jersey is facing a similar problem — they are in need of about 1000 turkeys.

Food insecurity has increased in the past year, and the lack of donations has been blamed on a poor economy.

The Oak Park and River Forest Food Pantry in Illinois will likely not give out turkey at all, stating increased food costs.

Pantry director Michele Zurakowski said it wasn’t fair, but the pantry would rather provide more food day-to-day than one expensive meal.

Read More:

  • U.S. Food Banks Struggling With Holiday Turkey Shortage (ABC News)
  • Center for Food Action, short on turkeys, committed to providing Thanksgiving meals (North Jersey.com)
  • Thanksgiving turkeys, holiday hams are a casualty of the economy at food pantry (Tribune Local)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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  • Natalie

    In Bloomington, the Community Kitchen needed 40 turkeys to fill the need for meals–they only had 2 donated. Our local newspaper got the word out, and overnight they met their goal. I love it when communities come together–I just wish helping out others was on everyone’s minds all the time!

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