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Rising prices: Annual Cape Breton turkey drive turns to chickens to help feed people

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GLACE BAY, N.S. -

A special delivery to the Glace Bay Food Bank in Glace Bay, N.S., has become an annual tradition for Mickey McNeil, but this year’s cargo looks much different.

“I think it would have been out of the realm to raise the 100 turkeys. We did it in 2018 but the market is just too high for the average person now,” said Mickey McNeil, a volunteer with the turkey drive.

McNeil says the average price of a turkey has nearly doubled compared to this time last year, so this year, he has turned to chickens -- a cheaper alternative to help those in need.

“If you pay $35 for a turkey, you can get three chickens for that, so you have to improvise,” said McNeil.

Food bank coordinator Linda MacRae says the donation of 96 chickens and 44 hams will go a long way.

“I go home and I cry because the stories are just so overwhelming,” said MacRae.

With additional donations, the goal is to feed nearly 400 families this Christmas.

The client base at the Glace Bay Food Bank has doubled in just one month.

“Yesterday alone we had nine new clients sign up just in one day and it's going to get worse come January and the colder months. I think it's going to increase even more,” said MacRae.

The average Canadian household could see a $3,000 reduction in their overall buying power in 2023, according to a recent RBC report. This will likely be caused by higher prices and interest rates across the board.

The same report also predicts that Canada is heading toward an economic recession as early as the first quarter of 2023.

“It's a very stressful time. A very stressful time for a lot of people and I see it on their faces when they come in,” said MacRae.

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