Will a Thanksgiving turkey shortage be an issue?

Thanksgiving in the Panhandle

PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — The shortage of workers is threatening a Thanksgiving tradition – turkeys. Food distributors are reporting severe turkey shortages across the country.

Shoppers like Vicki Doolittle are heading to the store to stock up on all the Thanksgiving necessities.

“I came mainly to get the turkey because I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to get one,” Doolittle said.

Doolittle is feeding 20 people on turkey day. To make sure she gets what she needs she did her shopping two weeks early.

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“On the news, they have been talking about supply chain issues and it was really worrying me,” Doolittle said.

Experts say there’s not a lack of turkeys, but a lack of workers in production and shipping. Some stores are even limiting the number of turkeys you can buy. 

Local Piggly Wiggly General Manager Thomas Wester said they are trying to be ahead of the curve this year. 

“We’ll get calls saying ‘hey we have no drivers we can’t bring you anything or we can’t load the trucks,’” Wester said. “So knowing that can happen we went in and brought in all our turkeys plus some to ensure us to have enough turkeys.”

Wester said they ordered around 13 hundred turkeys just for his location. 

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“We brought them all in at one time instead of three or four different shipments,” Wester said.

Wester said the shelves at Piggly Wiggly are fully stocked with turkeys right now but he recommends coming in to get your Thanksgiving meal sooner rather than later just to be safe.

“If you don’t you’ll end up getting what’s leftover it might not be the size you want or the brand you want,” Wester said. 

He said the same goes for popular sides like cranberry sauce and mac ‘n cheese. 

Wester said the global supply shortage is also creating higher meat prices this year.

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