ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As the Salvation Army of Abilene prepares for its annual Thanksgiving dinner, organizers said they’ve noticed a lack in turkey donations. They say the social services organization is in dire need of 100 turkeys by the end of the week.

Captain Joshua McCain, with the Salvation Army of Abilene, said he is concerned that some families might not be fed this holiday season without the help of the Salvation Army and the community.

“We love to be able to provide this thanksgiving community meal to those that might need it,” pleaded Capt. McCain. “Those that might be shut-ins, those that might not have a table to gather around.”

Capt. McCain credited the lack of turkey donations this Thanksgiving holiday season to inflation. Not only are regular supplies and groceries more expensive this year, but the cost of a turkey is also on the rise.

“Economically, it has been a challenging year for everybody, and we have seen that in the nonprofit world of contributions going down and prices going up. It’s like a double whammy for us,” Capt. McCain explained. 

The Salvation Army of Abilene said it plans to feed between 500 and 750 people this Thanksgiving, either at its center or by delivery. To do so, the organization said it needs 100 turkeys by the end of the week to prep in time for Thanksgiving Thursday, November 24.

“We’re hoping we can collect what we need to support the community thanksgiving meal,” explained Capt. McCain. 

As KTAB/KRBC spoke with Capt. McCain, a man named Johnny Harris walked in to donate two turkeys for this cause. Harris told said he knows what it is like to struggle and be without food. 

“Growing up – I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and at times when I was younger – my parents kind of struggled with going through things too,” Harris revealed.

Now that he’s overcome those struggles, Harris said he wants to help those that haven’t yet. 

Harris’ donation brought the Salvation Army of Abilene’s turkey count to nearly 40, but it still needs 60 more. However, Capt. McCain said the organization does not want to get these turkeys the day before Thanksgiving, because they need time to thaw and be prepared to cook. They are wanting to get all of their turkeys by Wednesday, November 23 so that there is plenty of time to prepare them. 

Capt. McCain told KTAB/KRBC that there is a lot at stake if some families can’t be fed by them this year.

“We don’t want anyone to go unserved or not have the ability to gather around and have a Thanksgiving meal with those they care most about,” said Capt. McCain. 

The Salvation Army of Abilene said it is also in need of other Thanksgiving food items, like these:

  • Whole turkeys 
  • Boxed dressing 
  • Canned green beans 
  • Canned cranberry sauce 
  • Boxed mashed potatoes 
  • Pre-cooked dinner rolls 
  • Commercially made desserts (not from home kitchen) 
  • Disposable roaster pans 

In addition, the organization said volunteers have been in short supply, as well.

If you are able, volunteers for these roles are needed:

  • Cooking side dishes and turkeys before Thanksgiving 
  • Serving guests eating at the Salvation Army shelter on Thanksgiving Day 
  • Preparing meals for transportation and delivery out to the community 
  • Driving to deliver meals within Abilene city limits 

Donations can be delivered to The Salvation Army of Abilene at 1726 Butternut Street, 9:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.