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Thanksgiving meal prices likely to hit a record high this year

Posted at 5:51 AM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 06:51:00-04

WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — This year the price for Thanksgiving dinner will likely be noticeably higher for many. From turkeys to cranberry sauce to even pies, the American Farm Bureau Federation says many will likely pay about 5-percent more for most items. And for local food pantries and food banks, this news regarding inflation has them hoping people will continue to be generous with their ongoing support of their community.

At Feeding America in Appleton, the price for a turkey this year was almost 50 percent more than they paid in 2019. But, if the food bank hadn't ordered their birds back in July, the price could have been much worse.At this point, both Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and Paul's Pantry say they have enough turkeys on hand to make the holidays a bit more memorable for thousands of folks. Both of the non-profits add however, they can always use both food donations and monetary donations to help make ends meet as they move into the winter months, which are traditionally busier times of the year for them.

"If we would have waited even longer, we probably wouldn't have gotten them, and prices would have been even higher," says Patti Habeck the President and CEO of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

Habeck says the rising costs of goods are a tough pill to swallow before the holiday. Not so much for her non-profit's costs, but for the thousands of food pantries they serve.

"When you're talking about the hunger relief system, it makes it even harder on families who are already struggling. It's even harder on pantries to be able to access that product that they need to get," says Habeck.

As food prices continue to rise Habeck says more and more people will likely rely on food pantries. Additionally, the inflated cost for all too many goods at the grocery store also makes it difficult for many pantries to keep up with the rising demand for households struggling to make ends meet.

"I think everyone is experiencing that in their households. So, I'm sure the people we're serving here, well it can have even a bigger effect on them," says Craig Robbins the Executive Director of Paul's Pantry in Green Bay.

Robbins says they're currently ready to serve upwards of one thousand turkeys to their guests prior to Thanksgiving, but he has concerns about the winter months ahead.

"It's going to be a tough year," adds Robbins.

The cold months mean more expenses for many related to heat, gasoline, and holiday meals many look forward to. But those in the business of giving remain optimistic that folks from northeast Wisconsin will continue doing what they can to help their neighbors make ends meet.

"It seems as though the busier we get the more food we get donated. And it kind of goes hand in hand. We're fortunate," says Robbins.