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Turkey costs rise ahead of Thanksgiving

With inflation making the cost of turkey skyrocket this season, some suggest celebrating Thanksgiving with a chicken dinner instead.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There are 42 days until Thanksgiving, but what's a Thanksgiving dinner without the turkey?

Local non-profits are worried that inflation will make turkey dinners more expensive this year, and farmers say their costs are spiking, too.

After tracking turkey prices for the past 3 months, the Coastal Bend Food Bank reports that the cost of turkey is substantially higher.

"Last year, we paid between 89 to 95 cents a pound for turkeys," said James Burnett, Operations Manager of the Coastal Bend Food Bank. "This year, the prices we've been quoted so far are $1.89 to $2.09."

Coastal Bend farmers like Andrew Edelen face similar challenges with the rising cost of bird feed.

"All our poultry feed did go up probably noticeably in the spring to early summer," Edelen said.

Because of these higher feed prices, poultry sellers have to pass those costs on to shoppers.

"If they have to go out and purchase one, it's going to cost them about 20 to $30 per turkey. So that's a big increase this year," Burnett said.

To mitigate the increased cost of turkey this Thanksgiving, the food bank is even looking at chicken as an alternative.

“We have an opportunity to pick up some large chicken hens, which are very nice size birds at five to seven pounds," Burnett said. "Which wouldn't quite be as big as the turkey, but it would still be a nice center of the plate.” 

If you're looking for your own family turkey, farmers say now might be the best time to buy.

Food and cash donations can be made to the Coastal Bend Food Bank at their warehouse and online.

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