- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2003

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Some Virginia food banks didn’t have enough turkeys to distribute to needy families this Thanksgiving because their meat supplies were depleted after Hurricane Isabel.

“Everyone should be able to have a turkey for Thanksgiving,” said Loretta Brown, spokeswoman for the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula. “They shouldn’t have to feed their kids cornflakes or Cheerios or peanut butter and jelly.”

Miss Brown said a typical aid recipient is a single mother of two.

Miss Brown’s organization had plenty of canned goods, thanks in part to a Girl Scouts drive, but was short thousands of turkeys. A last-minute effort to replenish the supply got a boost when a Sonic Drive-In donated 500 turkeys, but more were needed.

The Virginia Peninsula branch of the Salvation Army, which also feeds the needy, was short about 400 turkeys, Capt. Joe Burton said.

“We’re also in need of 2,800 before Christmas,” he said.

Capt. Burton estimated that his organization would serve 2,800 families this holiday season, up from 1,500 last year.

“I believe it’s all due to Hurricane Isabel,” he said.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia in Norfolk also was scrambling to fill a turkey shortage created by hurricane relief efforts.

Richmond’s Central Virginia Food Bank used a $30,000 donation from tobacco giant Philip Morris to buy about 5,500 turkeys, Chief Operating Officer Wayne Bain said. However, he said, the food bank needed about 10,000 birds to meet the needs.

“We always have a situation like this around the holiday,” he said.

He said Isabel was not a major factor because Perdue Farms Inc. had donated a tractor-trailer load of chicken, enough to serve about 10,000 people for two weeks after the hurricane.

Thomas Carroll, operations manager for the Northern Virginia branch of the Capital Area Food Bank, reported no problem with food supplies for the holiday.

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