HOMESTEAD (CBSMIAMI) — The nonprofit food bank Farm Share says, for the first time in their 30-year history, they will not be able to provide families with the Thanksgiving meal so many look forward to each year.

Gil Zepeda with Farm Share says it is a result of the supply chain issues as well as a lack of donations. Much of what they receive is surplus donated from stores or farmers. However, these places do not have surplus to give. Demand, though, is at an all-time high.

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“We have no turkeys, absolutely no turkeys to give out during the food distributions,” Zepeda says. “In past years, we were able to provide for those families that were not able to provide for themselves, at least something for them to look forward to.”

“Cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie filling, regular staples — like turkeys, gravy or stuffing — which we usually have an overabundance of, this year, because of the cutbacks and because of the issues with transportation nationwide, we are, unfortunately, not able to provide those items,” he continues.

Even though last year was the height of the pandemic and demand was high, Farm Share could still meet those needs.

“Last year, we had an abundance of food, because the entertainment industry had gone down. The food and beverage industry had gone down. Cruises were down, and so farmers and most organizations had a lot of food to give,” he explains.

Now, in 2021, for many people, money is tighter with rising prices for fuel, food, and housing. While the food bank wants to step up and meet the need, resources are strained.

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“Some of these industries have had to pull back and make back some of the profits that they lost in 2020. The first thing that went was donations, so we have received very little donations from our partners,” Zepeda says.

“We’re adding to that this extra layer of what’s going on this year, which is that we are having a huge issue with transportation. Nationwide, trucks are being affected because there are no drivers and there are very little trucks to move the food.

As quickly as they get food, they’re giving it away, giving out the most schools meals they ever have. They are motivated by the work they do and hope things will get back to normal.

“If we can come back from what we did in the state of Florida, we can go the extra mile and continue to eliminate hunger,” Zepeda says.

There ways to help. For more information on making a donation or volunteering, go here.

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Give Miami Day is Thursday November 18th, and Giving Tuesday is after Thanksgiving on November 30th. Both are opportunities to make a contribution.

Karli Barnett