Turkeys Scrapped for West Texas Food Bank

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - When times are tough, it's not just the less fortunate that feel the pinch.

Organizations that help them, like the West Texas Food Bank, are feeling it too.

For the first time in a decade, the West Texas Food Bank will be forced to scrap their turkey distribution this Thanksgiving.

They say this year, they didn't have the cash or the resources to carry it out.

"In the last five years or so, it's been more and more difficult for food banks to leverage the type of food they would like to bring in, certainly a holiday mix such as turkeys during Thanksgiving," West Texas Food Bank Executive Director, Augie Fernandes, said.

Because of rising prices plaguing the country and a poor harvest of the turkey's prime food source, wheat, the price of turkey has risen to a dollar per pound.

That was a price too high for the Food Bank, and they were finding themselves with less donations to help pay for it.

"One of the things that we noticed were many of our donors in the last two years had become recipients," Fernandes said.

But they're not leaving anyone out in the cold.

Fernandes said this year they'll be providing people with USDA-approved holiday chickens for their dinners.

But they always encourage people to help out and volunteer in any way they can.

"What we really need is to sustain this motivation to help our neighbors who are hungry throughout the year," Fernandes said.

USDA figures cite Texas as one of the top hungriest states in the country.

The Food Bank also says you can purchase a retail turkey for less money and donate it if you choose.