STOCKTON, Calif — Hunting down last-minute Thanksgiving Day items, Brandi Morrill of Escalon speaks for a lot of shoppers.
"Everything seems higher, everything. So, I'm just used to everything being higher and out of stock," Morrill said.
At Mar-Val's Main Street Market in Escalon, Store Manager Victor Perez said he is doing all he can to keep his customers supplied for the holidays. But, supply chain issues are making some items more difficult to keep in stock.
"Half and half cream. Even we have been short on some milk as well. But, throughout the store we're short pumpkin pies here and there. Those have been a struggle to get into our bakery department," said Perez.
The American Farm Bureau Federation said the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal this year is $53.31. That's up 14% over last year. Turkeys cost 24% more, pie crusts are up 20%, dinner rolls up 15% and cranberries up 11%.
Even at the annual Thanksgiving Day giveaway like Tuesday's at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, it's expensive.
According to the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton, of the 2,600 turkeys given away, normally half the amount or 1,300 would be purchased. This year 2,000 were bought for the needy. Stockton Emergency Food Bank CEO, Leonard Hansen said they're difficult to find.
"And of that purchase there were 92 cases that couldn't get delivered until the very last minute. And, the owner of the grocery chain that helped us brought them in his pick-up," said Hansen.
Cars lined up on Airport Avenue as early as 4 a.m. to get a prized Thanksgiving Day dinner. Felisha Brown of Stockton was one of the thankful recipients.
"And, the help that we're getting right now? Awesome," said Brown.
Perhaps the best shopping advice?
"I'd go today instead of tomorrow," said Morrill.
Despite all the shortages, Mar-Val's manager Victor Perez's said "it's never too late."
Perez says items for Thanksgiving were delayed, but now are in stock.