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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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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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