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COST OF THANKSGIVING MEAL DECLINES, ACCORDING TO AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION SURVEY

 COST OF THANKSGIVING MEAL DECLINES,
 ACCORDING TO AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION SURVEY
 PARK RIDGE, Ill., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans can afford to invite an extra guest to this year's Thanksgiving dinner since the average cost of a meal for 10 people will be nearly $3 less than last year, according to a survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
 This year's traditional family-sized meal will cost $25.95. Last year the same meal cost $28.85. Other years include: $24.51 in 1987, $26.61 in 1988 and $24.70 in 1989.
 A lower average price for the traditional Thanksgiving turkey set the tone for the decrease in this year's meal. In addition, rolls, vegetables and cranberries cost less than a year ago.
 At $2.59 per person this year, the meal's menu includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas, rolls, cranberries, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, a relish dish and beverages.
 Turkey supplies and marketings are up slightly this year, according to Farm Bureau commodity specialist Dr. Hugh Johnson. Consumers are benefiting from the wholesale trade of frozen turkeys, which are about 15 cents per pound lower than a year ago.
 According to Johnson, America's appetite for turkey continues to grow with individual consumption up nearly one pound in the past year to 19 pounds annually.
 "While U.S. consumers already pay the lowest food prices in the world, the holiday meal becomes an even better value since most stores offer the ingredients at special prices," said Marsha Purcell, AFBF spokesperson.
 The overall price for this year's meal was determined from results of a nationwide survey of 72 Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers in 25 states and Washington, D.C.
 Farm Bureau's Thanksgiving Day dinner for 10 included these items: a 16-pound, self-basting tom turkey; a 14-ounce package of herb-seasoned, cubed stuffing mix; a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix; and a package of two, nine-inch, frozen pie shells.
 Also included were: three pounds of fresh sweet potatoes; a 12- ounce package of brown-and-serve rolls; a one-pound package of frozen green peas; a half-pound each of fresh carrots, celery and yellow onions; a 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries; a gallon of whole milk; coffee; and one-half pint of whipping cream.
 Although eating habits have changed and areas of the country vary in what they include in their traditional meal, Farm Bureau's survey has remained constant over the years to allow the price comparison.
 "Events of the past year around the world demonstrate the real meaning of Thanksgiving for Americans," said Purcell.
 "We live in a bountiful nation which is the envy of the world. Thanksgiving has become a celebration of family and friends, but we mustn't lose sight of the spirit of the early settlers who took time to give thanks for the good harvest."
 Average prices to feed 10 were: turkey, $10.67; stuffing, $1.99; pumpkin pie mix, $1.41; pie shells, $1.24; sweet potatoes, $1.36; rolls, $1; peas, $1.06; carrots, 24 cents; celery 20 cents; milk, $2.31; onions, 35 cents; cranberries, $1.34; coffee, 18 cents; whipping cream, 76 cents; and miscellaneous items, $1.85.
 The following states participated in the price survey: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C.
 -0- 11/22/91
 /CONTACT: Jack King of the American Farm Bureau Federation, 312-399-5754, or after hours, 708-945-2177; or Marsha Purcell of the American Farm Bureau Federation, 312-399-5764, or after hours, 708-351-4476/ CO: American Farm Bureau Federation ST: Illinois IN: SU:


DC-MH -- DC017 -- 6500 11/22/91 16:10 EST
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Date:Nov 22, 1991
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