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FORT WORTH The Community Food Bank is facing a first this holiday season: A massive turkey shortage.

Traditionally, the food bank hands out hundreds of birds each year through donations.

But staff said because of a change in food stamp benefits that went into effect November 1, they are seeing far more families stop by for help.

On Monday morning, a line for bags filled with Thanksgiving goodies stretched to 1,200 people and around two neighborhood blocks.

The center's executive director said they had to send more than half of those folks away without the centerpiece of the meal.

'We need turkeys!' pleaded director Regena Taylor.

Somehow, Taylor was hoping to get another 1,000 turkeys through Monday afternoon and into Tuesday.

Michelle Irwin got the last turkey on Monday morning.

'It's wonderful,' she said. 'It will make a very big difference.'

Some families who didn't receive a bird were able to take home a ham, or another frozen meat.

Food bank staffers said they are hoping for an influx of donations through their web site, so that it could rush out Monday night and gobble up any extra turkeys at area grocery stores.

'We know tomorrow morning could be just as busy,' said Taylor.

She said there appeared to be enough other food to go around like stuffing and vegetables but that the turkey shortage was the big problem.

The food bank opens at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning at 3000 Galvez Avenue.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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