Even though it’s not even October yet, Frank Garcia, a chef in Anaheim, is worried about getting enough turkeys for his Thanksgiving meal.
Garcia said, “They don’t have them.” “There are no turkeys there.”
The turkey supply has been cut in half because of a disease that kills birds. This has caused prices to rise to levels that have never been seen before. Experts in poultry said it will be hard to find the right size turkey now that the bird flu has killed so many of the Thanksgiving staples.
Matt Busardo, an expert on the poultry market, said, “A 16-pound, typical grocery store turkey costs about 40 cents more per pound this year than it did last year, which was already a record price.”
This would mean that prices at the wholesale level would go up by $7. When stores start charging more for turkeys, the price will only go up.
Garcia said it’s been hard to find any turkeys, even the smaller, cheaper ones, even though he needs 500 of them. Prices going up have made his nonprofit, We Give Thanks, spend all of its money. His grocery budget has gone up by 20%, which is mostly because of the turkeys.
Garcia said that he has a budget of $92,000 and can only buy turkeys for $30,000 to $40,000. But because prices had gone up, he thought he might have to spend $100,000 just on turkeys.
“I have $92,000, so I don’t want to spend $100,000 on turkeys,” he said.
Even though he has problems, Garcia said that if he has to, he will serve turkey and ham on Thanksgiving so that no one goes hungry.
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