Non-profits still need holiday food donations

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Non-profit organization throughout the Western Slope have noticed a big decrease in turkey donations.

"They said they were so desperate for donations as far as turkeys and thinks like that for the holidays," said turkey donor Betty Teegarden. "They were way down."

The Salvation Army has met their 90-turkey goal for Thanksgiving, but it's the upcoming Christmas box giveaways that they are worried about.

"We have about 1,800 boxes that go out during the Christmas season," said Dan Wilson, Salvation Army Corps Officer, "of that, we've received about 90 turkeys toward 1,800 turkeys."

Grocery stores have had to increase prices of their food to follow the economy, and the normal sales that take place a few weeks before Thanksgiving are just beginning to hit the stores.

"Not quite as many specials from the grocery stores in turkeys," said Wilson, "and usually by this time we have a lot more turkeys."

"Right now I know that the economy is having some issues," said Starlene Collins, manager with the Food Bank of the Rockies. "There are a lot of people that are seeking food assistance for the first time."

The increased need has only had a domino effect among the 150 non-profits that receive food from the Food Bank, but there are still many ready and willing to give back and help the community.

"Last year I donated three turkeys plus about ten pounds of stuffing," said Teegarden. "I love the Salvation Army, so I enjoy doing it."

Officer Dan Wilson said the week before Thanksgiving is the best week to get those deals, with the grocery stores really starting to drop the prices to clear out the inventory.

And even in the midst of a temporary shortage, the Salvation Army and the Food Bank are not worried.

"The Western Slope community is extremely giving," said Collins, "and I know now that we are in need of turkeys, and I have a feeling that they are probably just going to come flying through the door."

And even Betty Teegarden encourages the community to make an impact in some way this year.

"Just think about your position and what you can afford to do," said Teegarden.

Food Bank of the Rockies services more than 150 non-profits throughout the Western Slope, and they are always accepting food and financial donations.

The Salvation Army is also accepting turkey donations at 1235 N. 4th Street as well as any other canned or boxed goods.

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