SAN ANTONIO, Texas — There is turkey trouble this coming Thanksgiving.
The good news is despite some supply chain issues during the beginning of the year, there is not likely to be a turkey shortage. But, the Thanksgiving centerpiece will likely gobble up more of your money.
That means some in our community might have to do without.
Inflation means you will be paying more overall for your Thanksgiving meal. The American Farm Bureau said turkey prices could see record highs this holiday. The price for fresh, boneless, skinless turkey breast reached $6.40 in September, a record high. That is 112% higher than at the same time last year. Prices were $3.16 a pound in 2021.
“There’s been this issue with supply chain disruptions, but also an avian bird flu outbreak that’s impacted the population,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with Dealnews.com.
Ramhold said there will be enough birds to buy, but, “Count on that turkey being a little more expensive."
Eric Cooper, the president and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank, said those high prices are likely to mean some in our community will not be able to afford a holiday meal.
“For the families that are struggling, it possibly could be just out of reach from a purchase,” he said. It might also price the San Antonio Food Bank out of buying enough turkeys to meet the need.
“We were told, 'Look, it’s going to be the most expensive Thanksgiving ever,'” Cooper said.
Plus, most of the Food Bank’s early bird Thanksgiving turkey orders got canceled after the bird flu wiped out flocks. It leaves the food bank now looking for 20,000 turkeys.
“It’s our goal to make sure that everyone gets a turkey on Thanksgiving,” Cooper said. It's a goal the Food Bank fears it might not be able to meet this year. The hope is others in the Thanksgiving spirit of gratitude will give.
“Food is basic. We have to have it,” Cooper said. “Yet, so many families in our community are without it. Our opportunity is just to take some of what we have and share it with someone else.”
There are several ways you can share ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
First, the San Antonio Food Bank welcomes donations of turkeys, or money to buy turkeys.
You can also sign up for the food bank’s 5K Turkey Trot. It happens on Thanksgiving morning between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. both in-person and virtually. Each registration provides a turkey for a family facing hunger. Early Bird Registration for $35 is now until October 31. Registering in November costs $40. If you register on the day of the event, it is $45.
Save money on your turkey this year by buying frozen instead of fresh. You can also buy a smaller bird. Or, you can always consider a cheaper, alternative meat.