Food Bank Has Thanksgiving Turkey Shortage

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A still-struggling economy has spurred an increasing number of families to turn to their local food banks for Thanksgiving dinner. However, these sites have issued a call for help as they're also facing shortages this Thanksgiving. Lolita Lopez reports from North Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2012. (Published Monday, Nov 19, 2012)

    The Iglesia Misionera Antioquia Siloe in North Hollywood distributed about 30 turkeys and other food for members of the community on Monday.

    Fresh fruits, breads and turkeys have been hard to come by this year, not just for families but for food pantries and organizations who feed those in need, especially during the holidays.
     
    "I have seven children," said Rona Inciong while picking up her basket of food.

    Her husband has a steady job as a valet worker, but maintaining the large household remains difficult on his small salary, she said.
     
    "A week ago this time, we had absolutely not one turkey in the freezer -- not one -- and so by putting the word out, we had people that responded," Will Hernandez of Valley Food Bank said.
     
    Now more than 300 turkeys, donated by various private groups, will be distributed among 14 shelters and the people Valley Food Bank helps. 
     
    While people are willing to give, providers said, there are more mouths to feed than in past years.
     
    "We still have a high unemployment rate here in LA County, above 10 percent, and it's just led to this demand for food assistance to remain very, very high," said Michael Flood, CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
     
    The Food Bank brings in and distributes 1 million pounds of food every week to 640 other charitable organizations. There are another 564 agencies on a waiting list.

    Patricia Heredia of Pacoima said her husband earns less money than before, because he is dependent on construction jobs when they are available. That means she makes trips to the church regularly. The mother of two is thankful the giving continues.
     
    "Comeremos turkey," she said, which translates to "we will eat turkey."

    To find out where to donate food and other supplies in your community, you can contact the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and find a locator on its home page. There, you can punch in your ZIP code and find food pantries and organizations in your neighborhood.