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Food Bank requests record number of turkeys before Thanksgiving

people voluneer at a food bank
(Collegian File Photo)

Amid the ongoing pandemic and ever-changing supply chain shortage, the Food Bank for Larimer County has an even greater need for turkey donations than usual. 

According to a Nov. 15 media advisory, this year’s Tour de Turkey is “the most challenging turkey drive in (the food bank’s) operational history, and the organization is calling on all who are able to donate a frozen turkey, ham or whole chicken on or before Nov. 18.”

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Based on increased food insecurity and decreased availability, the food bank wants to collect over 6,500 turkeys, which they say is thousands more than they have gathered in the past.

“This is a red alert,” said Amy Pezzani, CEO of the Food Bank for Larimer County, in the media advisory. “We need turkeys. We are genuinely worried about holiday meal availability for everyone who has requested extra support. … Our goal is to ensure that no one in our community goes without a holiday meal this Thanksgiving.”

According to the media advisory, Feeding America estimated that food insecurity in Larimer County has increased by 27% since 2019. The media advisory said recipients of the food bank’s turkeys are identified early in the year and supported by “a group of 108 partner agencies and schools that work closely with those facing extreme need.” The recipient group includes 1,500 local school district students.

The Food Bank for Larimer County will host two Tour de Turkey events Nov. 18 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Orchards Shopping Center in Loveland, Colorado, and in Fort Collins on the corner of College Avenue and Drake Road in the old Kmart parking lot. The first 250 donors at each location will receive a coupon for a free six-pack of New Belgium beer, and donors have the opportunity to win a $50 New Belgium prize package as well.

If those wishing to donate cannot find turkeys, the food bank will except hams and whole chickens as well. All donated hams, turkeys and chickens must be frozen in order to ensure safe transportation and distribution.

Reach Serena Bettis at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @serenaroseb.

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About the Contributor
Serena Bettis
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at editor@collegian.com.

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