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Turkey Troubles in School Cafeterias

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 at 12:24 PM

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While many Americans will be serving turkey this week, some school cafeterias will not. A turkey shortage in the Agriculture Department's school lunch program has left some schools without enough bird for their Thanksgiving feast. ideastream's Elaine Falk has more on the turkey troubles.

The problem is too many skinny turkeys this year, caused by an unusually hot summer, and that has led to a decrease in drumsticks for school cafeterias. Supermarkets usually get first choice from turkey suppliers, (and) if there are leftovers - and usually there are plenty - the U.S. Department of Agriculture can snap them up. But this year there wasn’t enough for the USDA and some school lunch programs have been left with little more than a wing and a prayer. Bill Jet from the Elyria City Schools says the turkey supply from the USDA has gone down nearly 70% since last year.

Bill Jet: We’re all basically in the same boat. We’re just getting less than we got a year ago and unless you kind of save and plan, you’ll come up short.

Jet says they foresaw the turkey troubles and were able to save enough turkey to have a full Thanksgiving feast. The kids in Oberlin weren’t so lucky, however. The school lunch planners filled out their menu with a less traditional option: Thanksgiving ham. Elaine Falk, 90.3.

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