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One in Four Americans Skipping Thanksgiving Due to Soaring Food Costs


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With record-high inflation, Americans are struggling to keep up given the higher costs of just about everything from gas to groceries. That means this year, Thanksgiving might be trimmed when comes to the usual big family meal and celebration.

According to a study by Personal Capital, an online wealth management company, one in four Americans say they're skipping Thanksgiving because they can't afford the holiday meal this year.

One in three say they're hosting a smaller dinner due to higher food prices.  

And a whopping 88 percent are cutting at least one dish from their table to make ends meet. 

"Definitely have to have the green bean casserole and Brussels sprouts, and probably three or four desserts, but I'm not buying them I'm going to make them from scratch because I think I can do it cheaper," Laura Douglas of Chesapeake, VA told CBN News. 

This year, turkey costs 20 percent more than it did in 2021.

Experts say the biggest factor driving up those prices – a wave of bird flu that hit in the spring.

"About five percent of total national production has been taken offline because of Avian influenza," said Jayson Lusk of Purdue University. "So, you remove birds from the market, that's less available for you and I, food consumers. So, you and I end up bargaining against each other for the smaller quantity of supplies and that pulls up prices."

"We might not just buy one, might just do like a ham or some fish, something local, pasta," said one consumer. 
The Department of Agriculture reports that food prices jumped 13 percent between September 2021 and 2022. 

It is an issue affecting not just families but local food banks as well.

"Food costs have gone up dramatically for foodbanks," Christopher Tan of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and The Eastern Shore said in an interview with CBN News.  "The cost of shipping and of products have gone up significantly, almost to the point of we'll pay for more shipping than the actual product."

Tan said his organization began ordering turkeys back in June. 

"We knew that the supply chain issue would be a potential problem. And we're still not getting the amount that we would have probably liked. There isn't enough out there," he explained. 

Tan also says that as grocery costs have increased so has the number of families seeking help.

"Inflation has caused many people to come to our lines for the first time," Tan commented.  "We see a lot more working families who are working and employed but their food budgets have drastically increased and so they're using the foodbank as a way to supplement that budget."

To help struggling families, the supermarket chain Aldi is rolling its Thanksgiving prices back to 2019 costs.  

"We expect to welcome tens of millions of customers in our stores this Thanksgiving season, and we want them to know they can count on us," Dave Rinaldo, President of Aldi said in a statement. "So why not attempt that additional side dish this year or invite over a few more friends or family members." 

Despite the tight economic times, some are choosing to be thankful no matter the costs.

"We know that the economy is high, but we've got to be thankful, said Carlton Griffin of Norfolk, VA. "Thankful for health and strength and having a job, having a family, just to be alive."

CLICK HERE for More About the Virginia Foodbank

Or CLICK HERE to Find a Food Bank in Your Area

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About The Author

Charlene Aaron

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter, backup news anchor, and co-host of The Prayerlink on the CBN News Channel. She covers various social issues, such as abortion, gender identity, race relations, and more. Before joining CBN News in 2003, she was a personal letter writer for Dr. Pat Robertson. Charlene attended Old Dominion University and Elizabeth City State University. She is an ordained minister and pastor’s wife. She lives in Smithfield, VA, with her husband.