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Area Food Banks Need Your Help

PENNSAUKEN, NJ (CBS) -- In just one week, families from across the Delaware Valley will gather around the dinner table for a bountiful Thanksgiving feast. But some food banks that help make that a reality are short the meal's centerpiece this year.

An avian flu has made it more difficult for the Food Bank of South Jersey to get the turkeys it needs.

"We weren't able to buy as many turkeys as we wanted to, and that's tricking down right now to the holiday season," Chief Operating Officer Joe Njoroge says.

The Food Bank of South Jersey serves about 250 emergency centers and soup kitchens.

"That's about 200,000 people year round," Njoroge says. "The need is big."

The Food Bank usually collects more than 15,000 frozen turkeys to satisfy need at Thanksgiving. This season, the organization is short 5,000 birds.

The Food Bank is hoping for the type of generosity that was shown at Philabundance this week.

ShopRite donated 600 turkeys to the South Philly location on Wednesday. And while Philabundance is faring better when it comes to turkey, that organization still needs day-to-day staples.

Just a dollar donation can provide two meals to people in need.

"If you just want to skip your latte maybe twice a week for the next few weeks, that $10 will equal 20 meals to people who need it," Senior Communications Manager Stefanie Arck-Baynes says.

"The holidays tend to be about turkey and fixings and all of that and that's great," Njoroge says. "But there's also a need for all other kinds of food."

That includes peanut butter, rice and non-perishable canned foods.

"What you'll be doing is you'll be helping another family, some other children, seniors, be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal," Njoroge says. "And appreciate the holiday season."

The Food Bank of South Jersey is holding a turkey drive this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To learn more about how you can help, visit or

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