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San Diego Food Bank receives four tons of turkeys from Foster Farms

The Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank have a lot to be thankful for Tuesday. The hunger-relief organization received a donation of more than 8,000 pounds of frozen turkeys from Foster Farms for the holidays.

“That’s four tons and that will help us serve over 10,000 people during the holiday season,” said Casey Castillo, interim CEO for the San Diego Food Bank.

Recently the organization paid about $200,000 for turkeys — double the price for the same amount of turkeys it bought last year because of the rising cost of food.

San Diego Food Bank and Foster Farms turkey donation check and example of thanksgiving food donation.jpg
Melissa Mae
A Foster Farms turkey donation check displayed with a San Diego Food Bank sign and Thanksgiving food examples, including a frozen turkey at the San Diego Food Bank on Nov. 16, 2021.

Foster Farms has partnered with the Food Bank since 2008. The donation will help to serve the more than 500 nonprofit charities that depend on their services. The Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in San Diego County.

“Families across the country are experiencing hardship,” Castillo said. “The rise in fuel cost with inflation and now the increase in food costs and so those families that were already experiencing food insecurity are now having a more difficult time.”

The United States is currently experiencing its highest inflation rate in 30 years, a 6.2% increase in the consumer price index.

Alan Gin, an economics professor at the University of San Diego, said during his interview with KPBS’ Midday Edition said the cost of meat has risen considerably.

“Food at home is up nationally over 5%. If you look at the individual components of that index in particular what I would call the proteins have been up considerably,” Gin said. “So in the category meat, poultry, fish and eggs, that’s up almost 12% over last year.”

Supply-chain disruption may also cause prices to increase even more in San Diego County.

“We’re kind of cul-de-sac, we’re at the end of the line as far as the supply chain is concerned and if there are disruptions to the supply chain, that could affect us here,” Gin said.

The frozen turkeys will start being distributed by the Food Bank early next week for the holiday, as the need for food continues to rise.

“We’re currently serving 550,000 and we think that number is going to go up during the holidays and into 2022,” Castillo said.

Those who want to help the Food Bank by volunteering, donating money and goods or hosting a food drive can go to sandiegofoodbank.org.