Supply chain crunch squeezes food banks, nonprofits ahead of Thanksgiving

A worker readies for an incoming shipment of food at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
A worker readies for an incoming shipment of food at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. Photo credit Kathy Novak/KCBS Radio

Supply chain backlogs are contributing to rising food costs and leading to eye-watering prices for Thanksgiving turkeys this year.

The squeeze isn't only impacting your table.

Podcast Episode
KCBS Radio: On-Demand
Supply chain crunch squeezes food banks, nonprofits ahead of Thanksgiving
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

Organizations working to feed people who might not otherwise be able to afford a special holiday meal are also feeling it. Like the sound of the choir at San Francisco's GLIDE Memorial Church, the nonprofit's Thanksgiving feast is an honored tradition.

"It's huge. Our community looks forward to it," said George Gundry, director of GLIDE's Daily Free Meals Program. "Most of our community comes here on a daily basis, but I think the holidays are really special. A lot of folks that probably don't have any place else to go are coming to GLIDE."

They'll be welcomed again this year – even though it's costing the organization a lot more than usual.

"I think the price of turkeys by the pound is giving us a little bit of sticker shock," he said. "They’re about 40 cents a pound more expensive than they’ve been in the past."

Food is piled high at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank ahead of Thanksgiving.
Food is piled high at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank ahead of Thanksgiving. Photo credit Kathy Novak/KCBS Radio

At the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, the warehouse is short on many items. Barbara Abbott, vice president of supply chain, told KCBS Radio there will be enough whole chickens for Thanksgiving meals but they were hard to find and cost twice as much.

At the same time, they're short volunteers and feeding more people.

"Just in the past couple of weeks, we have seen an increase in enrollment at our pop-up pantries, which we attribute right now to rising food prices," Abbott added.

Both organizations need more donations than ever with backlogs likely to continue through the end of the year.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Kathy Novak/KCBS Radio