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Updated Nov 19, 2013 - 5:00 am

Butterball turkey shortage could hit Valley food bank

PHOENIX — A Valley food bank is concerned that a shortage of Butterball turkeys could impact its ability to meet Thanksgiving demand.

With slightly more than a week until Thanksgiving, St. Mary’s Food Bank is 7,000 turkeys short of what it needs. Butterball announced last week that it will only be shipping out about half as many large, never-frozen turkeys this year but the company has met the demands on frozen ones.

Jerry Brown with the food bank said they do not accept never-frozen turkey donations and there’s no guarantee that the Butterball shortage will impact donations, but he’s concerned that a shortage of fresh turkeys in the supermarket could lead people to take frozen turkeys for themselves and lessen donations.

“If we wind up running out of turkeys we will make sure that people get a meat product,” he said. “If it’s not turkey, it will be something else.”

Brown said the current shortage goes beyond turkeys. The food bank is very short on canned fruits and vegetables.

St. Mary’s will have its Super Saturday donation drive this weekend from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all Albertson’s and St. Mary’s Food Bank locations.

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