Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and lots of food, but for many Arizonans, a turkey dinner is a luxury they cannot afford.

That is why St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix is ​​in a hurry to get as many turkeys as possible before the holidays. Since November 20, they have been running out of turkeys and are quickly running out of time.

Communities across the country are facing a shortage of turkey this holiday season for food banks which can be a problem when relying on donations for families in need.

St. Mary’s Food Bank‘s goal is 12,000 turkeys, and until recently they were short of 9,000. Fast forward to November 20 and their “Super Saturday” event with locations across the valley, they’ve had thousands more, but with less than a week to Thanksgiving, they’re still around 2,200.

“Things have gone up. Gas, food, rent everything. Lots of people on the edge are now coming to St. Mary’s Food Bank this year and your family has the chance to help a family in need,” he said. said Jerry Brown with St. Mary’s Food Bank.

They still accept donations until November 24.

“If you’ve had a great year and know that everything is taken care of for your family and that you care about helping another family, there is still time to make sure that each of those 12,000 to 15,000 families will be able to come home with a turkey for Thanksgiving, ”Brown said.

The food bank is closed on November 21, but will be open from November 22 to 24.

More information can be found here.

Turkey preparation, health tips

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees with the vaccinated people gathering for Thanksgiving this year, but they have a warning for those cooking the turkey: Do not wash it.

It’s the same warning that federal food safety experts have issued every year since 2005. Washing raw meats increases the risk of cross-contamination and could lead to food poisoning like salmonella and campylobacter.

These bacteria can be eliminated with complete cooking. To make sure that a turkey is cooked enough, a thermometer can be used to verify that the deepest and thickest parts have reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

As for storing and using extra turkey, it is safe to do so, but only for a few days.

The USDA says cooked leftovers should be quickly stored in shallow containers and placed in a refrigerator or freezer for rapid cooling. Consumers should only eat refrigerated leftovers for three to four days.

After that, they recommend throwing it out.

“A general rule of thumb for storing cooked leftovers in the refrigerator is 4 days; raw poultry and minced meat, 1 to 2 days’, on USDA noted.

Foods refrigerated for too long can develop spoilage bacteria. ThisYou are unlikely to make yourself seriously ill, but say it might make you nauseous.

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