NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the busiest day of the year at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx as the ingredients for countless Thanksgiving dinners are making their way into the city.
Three thousand employees are on hand at the sprawling market working until Thanksgiving to deliver essentials to stores and restaurants with 30 million pounds of produce on Tuesday alone coming in from 49 states and 55 countries.
“Thirty million pounds is very significant. On an average day, we’re selling a fraction of that,” said Gabriela D’Arrigo, a fourth generation produce wholesaler from the D’Arrigo Bros. Co. “This is our Super Bowl.”
D’Arrigo said as years go on, tastes change and it seems this year, families are catering to a more vegetarian diet.
“A lot more mushrooms, a lot more of meat substituting going center of the plate other than a side plate which has been interesting,” she said.
The D’Arrigo Bros. Co. has tripled its shipment for the holiday and will fill and empty one room full of onions and potatoes four times Tuesday alone, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
It’s foreman Spencer Matthews’ job to monitor and track all that food and working overtime is a must.
“We live here,” he said.
From the Bronx, the produce is heading out and stocking shelves all over the region.
“It’s going everywhere,” Matthews said. “We go to Philly, Jersey, upstate, Long Island — if you have produce on your plate, you’re getting it from here.”
It’s also been a crazy day at S. Katzman Produce. Stephanie Katzman said her crew is not taking a break, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“They’re working around the clock,” Katzman said. “We actually opened up Saturday night at 8 p.m. and we’ve been going ever since.”
Over at the loading dock for AJ Trucco, which specializes in chestnuts, dates and figs, a worker named Joseph has been going non-stop.
“There was no time to collect thoughts,” he told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern. “There was time just to make tickets and keep moving.”
Hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables are also donated to local soup kitchens for the holiday.
Meanwhile, the prices you’ll pay for all of the Thanksgiving trimmings will be the lowest in the years.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, when it comes to turkey, shoppers will be saving about two cents per pound compared to last year and if you’re buying a 16-pound bird, you’ll save about 36 cents.
Milk production is up which means a gallon will cost on average 20 cents less than last year. Pie shells, sweet potatoes and green peas are also down.
“The price of Thanksgiving dinner this year at $49.12 is the lowest level that we’ve seen in five years,” said John Newton with the American Farm Bureau Federation. “When you adjust for inflation, it’s cheaper than it was 30 years ago when we first started this survey.”
The $49 average price is for a home cooked meal for a family of 10. Ready to eat meals for the same size family is coming in at about $75.