LONG ISLAND, NY — With the cost of turkey escalating this holiday season, a Long Island nonprofit is working tirelessly to ensure every table has a holiday bird.
Island Harvest Food Bank, a Long Island-based hunger relief and social service organization, kicked off its annual “Turkey and Sides” collection campaign on Tuesday.
The need this year is greater than ever, the group said, with the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people expected to be about 12.6% higher. Additionally, bird flu is impacting turkey supply, driving prices up to 73% per pound and putting even greater pressure on those struggling with food security, Island Harvest said.
According to Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest, the food bank forecasts demand for 18,500 turkeys and tens of thousands of pounds of trimmings needed to complete a vacation-style meal for Long Islanders in the struggling with food insecurity. By comparison, 16,891 turkeys were collected and distributed in Nassau and Suffolk counties last year by Island Harvest, she said.
With the inflation rate at its highest level in 40 years and the cost of food at grocery stores up more than 11% from last year, many Long Islanders are turning to local food banks and other feeding programs to help put food on their tables, including frozen turkeys, Island Harvest said.
Prices for everyday groceries such as bread rose by 16.2%, eggs by 39.8%, milk by 17% and fruits and vegetables by 9.4%, according to estimates from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Data from the United States Department of Agriculture indicated that in October the price per pound of an 8-16 pound turkey rose 73% to $1.99 per pound from $1.15 per pound in October 2021, Island Harvest said.
And, at the start of the pandemic in 2020, the price for Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people was $46.90, the group said. In 2021, there was a 14% increase, or $6.41, to $53.31. And in 2022, that same dinner is expected to cost around $61, an increase of 12.6%, the group said.
Island Harvest’s Turkey and Trimmings Drive, which runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 30, encourages Long Islanders to donate turkeys and all the trimmings needed to complete a traditional holiday meal for troubled neighbors. Many fundraising events will take place across Long Island at supermarkets, schools, places of worship and other locations.
Necessary items include frozen turkeys, chickens or hams, non-perishable items such as stuffing, canned yams, cranberry sauce and other canned goods. Additionally, personal care items including soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc. are also welcome. Supermarket gift cards and monetary contributions are also accepted. For a calendar of food drive events or to start a food drive, click here.
“Long Islanders have always stepped up to help their neighbors in need,” Shubin Dresner said. “We understand that so many families are struggling to make ends meet, so we are grateful for any donation they can afford so that we can help the most vulnerable among us share the warmth and joy of a traditional holiday meal with their loved ones. those.
. So prices climb group aims bring turkeys to tables for vacation