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posted: 10/17/2012 2:25 PM

No turkey this year for FISH Food Pantry clients

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Dundee Township residents who turn to the local FISH Food Pantry in Carpentersville for their Thanksgiving dinner will not be receiving turkeys.

The price of the holiday staple is too expensive this year.

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"They will receive everything including the potatoes, stuffing and vegetable, but not the turkeys," said Mary Graziano, FISH president. "The pantry doesn't have enough money to buy the turkeys for everyone."

The expected price of a 16-pound turkey will be $21.57 this year, according to representatives from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The $3 increase from last year has put the price out of reach for many pantries serving unemployed or underpaid families.

Volunteers at the local pantry will receive the ingredients of the rest of the holiday meal from the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Even without the meal's centerpiece, FISH, based at the Meadowdale Shopping Center in Carpentersville, expect to have plenty of demand for the food boxes.

In August, it provided food for 441 families, and in September, volunteers gave food to 462 families.

"We're starting our busy season," Graziano said. "People who are working outside jobs will be back to us when they are laid off. The only way we can give out turkeys is if they are donated by local residents."

In past years, residents in Dundee Township communities have donated some turkeys, and they have been given to clients as soon as they are received. However, the steady generosity will not meet the demand.

"These past months have been great," Graziano said. "People from all around the area, including the Barrington United Methodist Church, have donated vegetables from their gardens."

And a group called Friends and Neighbors donated more than $1,000 from a baked good sale during West Dundee's Heritage Fest last month.

"The generosity from local residents is the reason we can provide so much to families in need," she said. "They help us get though the year, especially the holidays."

Along with food, volunteers give residents toiletries such bar soap, toothpaste, and tooth brushes. Currently, FISH volunteers need those items to meet the demand.

FISH is open from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Call (847) 428-4357.

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