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Rising costs already hitting food donation organizations hard

Posted at 6:32 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 18:32:43-05

BALTIMORE — Your Thanksgiving meal is going to cost more this year.

It won’t change much for the average family, but it’s already hitting food donation organizations hard.

At 4MyCity in West Baltimore, it’s already their busiest time of year. And with food prices on the rise, there’s more people that need food, and less to go around.

OR, they are worried they may not be able to help as many people this Thanksgiving.

Millions of pounds of donated food comes through the doors of 4MyCity a year.

They are a food rescue, the middle man taking food that distributors cannot sell and offering it up to organizations that help feed people in need.

CEO Chris Dipnarine says that number is increasing because people are getting priced out of food.

It’s especially evident as we head into the holiday season.

The prices of nearly every component of the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner are up this year, including the most expensive part.

University of Maryland agricultural economics research professor Jim Macdonald estimates whole fresh turkeys will cost $2 a pound this thanksgiving, compared to last years $1.73 a pound.

He says it’s because the cost to raise turkeys on a farm has about doubled over the last 4 years, in part because the price of feed, corn and soy beans, has increased.

"Our export markets have started booming again for those grains and as a result, their prices have risen sharply in the last year," he said.

He says it won’t have an impact on the average household, which spends only 10% of their income on food, but it could really hurt low income families who spend more than a third of their incomes on food.

That means more people may look for food donations this holiday. But nonprofits are dealing with the price increases too.

"An order of turkeys that cost me 10,000 dollars last year is costing me over 17,000 dollars this year," said Dipnarine.

He doesn’t believe they’ve be able to give out nearly as many turkeys as last year.

"Last year we did over 10,000. This year we’re probably not even trending at 2,000 right now," he explained.

He says the best way people can help is by donating, either food or money, so they can help the families who really need it.