Charities nationwide are struggling with their annual collections of that symbol of American Thanksgiving: the turkey. Organizations who feed the hungry make a major effort to provide needy families with the ability to celebrate a real Thanksgiving. However, that goal is proving difficult to achieve this year.
“This year has been really tough,” explained Greta Walker, a spokeswoman for the Denver Rescue Mission in Colorado. “We started the drive on November 1 and about 10 days into it, we had zero turkeys. And I started to get really worried.”
There are two factors contributing to this year’s dearth of turkey donations: The first is that turkeys have gone up in price – they cost up to 20% more than last year. The second is that families who normally contribute are themselves struggling just to provide their own families with a holiday dinner. This reflects the vicious circle of an economic recession, which means that at the same time that the number of people needing assistance increases, the number of those with the financial wherewithal to help them goes down. Charities thus end up with more people to feed but less food being donated. As a consequence, many organizations are forced to use money earmarked for other programs for the purchase of Thanksgiving dinner for America’s poor.