Varying turkey prices effect northeast Kansas food banks

TOPEKA (KSNT) – In less than a week, turkeys will be the talk of your table.

But so too could the price of the bird.

Reports vary on how much consumers will pay per pound for the centerpiece of Thanksgiving and that price fluctuation are not just making it harder on households but food banks this holiday season.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the price for turkey dropped 18 cents per pound in the last week from $1.08 to .90 because turkeys are in high demand. But a Fox report said consumers could pay almost 6.5 percent higher because turkeys are limited.

The avian flu epidemic in the Spring is blame for the varying prices and low supply.

The USDA estimated the turkey population diminished by 3 percent.

And the effects of the varying prices are being felt in northeast Kansas.

“For us, we’re fine,” said Maribeth Keiffer, the executive director of the Flint Hills Breadbasket. “We have plenty of turkeys for everyone. We have a lot of turkey breasts for the families of one and so, we don’t have a problem here.

The breadbasket is preparing to put their Thanksgiving donation baskets together for families in the Manhattan area.

But it’s a different story at the Topeka Rescue Mission.

“For example, right now we have 10 turkeys. Normally, at this time, we have 40 or 50,” said executive director Barry Feaker.

He said the mission does not sue the turkeys until Christmastime but they wanted to make sure turkeys would be available.

“We went ahead and put an order in now knowing there may be a shortage and, sure enough, we were limited to 160 from our normal supply person,” Feaker said.

Feaker said the turkeys they ordered will not be enough to feed families in need during Christmas.

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