SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thanksgiving is just 11 days away, so now’s the time for holiday preparation. Especially with a flu outbreak among turkeys threatening the typical Thanksgiving meal this year.

“Hurry, hurry, go get it! Supermarkets, meat stores… I would say go get it now,” said Boys & Girls Club Family Center volunteer Rufus Judge Kynard III.

Almost 50 million turkeys have either died from the avian flu, or were eradicated as part of an infected flock. This problem is making turkeys more scarce, which is causing costs to increase on top of inflation levels hitting consumers already. Turkey prices are up to under two dollars per pound. A 73% jump from 2021.

But, thanks to generous community support this shortage posed no threat to the Boys & Girls Club Family Center’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner. A volunteer at the Family Center, Sydney Dodds told 22News, “We didn’t have any issues. We got our turkeys early and were able to cook them up, and have them ready to serve.”

“All these turkeys were donated, so no shortage here. Plenty of food, plenty of turkeys,” added Elizabeth Dodds, another volunteer.

The annual dinner welcomes the public to come enjoy a free, full Thanksgiving meal with fellow community members. No questions asked. Plus, guests can take a prepared bag of food to-go afterward.

Staff and volunteers told 22News they’re thankful to be able to provide the staple Thanksgiving menu, turkey shortage aside. Rufus Judge Kynard III concluded, “I’m just so happy that everyone will be able to get some turkey today and have a nice Thanksgiving dinner.”