CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Thanksgiving meal that thousands look forward to each year in Chicopee has been cancelled.

Knights of Columbus Council 4044 announced that it will not be providing its annual Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Over the years, thousands of hot meals were made available to families in need in western Massachusetts for Thanksgiving. However, according to Grand Knight Steven Dubreuil, the decision was made to forego the dinner because the council simply would not have enough turkeys to feed the amount of people that would attend.

Dubreuil told 22News on Tuesday that the council began preparations for the Thanksgiving dinner in early September. “At that point, we had our chef call his different distributors and sources, and a few weeks later after investigation and calling these places, he was told that they could give half,” Dubreuil explained. “We need close to 2,400 pounds of turkey, so they were able to access half of them for him at that time. But they couldn’t guarantee that they could get the other half for thanksgiving,” he added.

Dubreuil expressed disappointment in not hosting the dinner that, pre-pandemic times, would provide around 3,000 turkey meals.

Instead, the council is making monetary donations to Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen in Chicopee, Providence Ministries Kate’s Kitchen in Holyoke, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Inc., South Hadley Food Pantry, Springfield Rescue League in Springfield, and the Boys & Girls Club in Chicopee.

Council 4044 hopes to resume the dinner next year, and start preparations earlier.