The Sioux Falls Food Pantry expects to see a greater demand for Thanksgiving turkeys this year than ever before, but so far they are unable to fulfill even one request.
Over the last three years, the number of people going through the pantry is up nearly 65 percent. The way the economy is now, donations keep dropping including Thanksgiving turkeys.
At this point, the food pantry manager isn't sure what they will do to make sure every family can have a holiday meal.
As Manager Dick Baird opens the Sioux Falls Food Pantry freezer, he is discouraged by what he sees.
"We have some hotdogs from Morrell’s, but we have no turkeys," Baird said.
With a nearly three weeks until Thanksgiving, the shelves are bare and prospects are thin.
Two years ago, organizations would pledge 500 turkeys a year. Last year, it dropped to just 50. And this year?
"We haven't been contacted by anyone yet. It doesn't look good. Hopefully things will improve," Baird said.
That's exactly what happened in 2010. With less than one week until Thanksgiving, hundreds of turkeys were donated after a last minute turkey SOS went out to the community. So many turkeys were donated, they gave a couple hundred out during Christmas and they hope to do the same this year.
And while the food pantry is expecting donations of mashed potatoes, stuffing and all of the other fixings, it's hard to have thanksgiving dinner without a turkey.
"The turkeys this year will be a little bit more expensive but we would really appreciate anybody at all that could help us," Baird said.
Baird says he is already receiving phone calls from clients asking if they will get any turkeys this year. If you would like to help, you can just drop off a frozen turkey or two at the downtown food pantry located at 417 North Phillips Avenue.
For more information call (605) 335-6921.