NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) - Grocery stores are packed Wednesday as people grab their last minute items for Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, grocery stores are reporting a shift in the quantity of food many people are buying.

"We always come here Thanksgiving. I got my prime rib, my apple pie, and we’ve got to get some sides," Patty Whipple of Burlington explained.

The aisles at Stew Leonard’s in Newington are packed as families get ready to prepare their Thanksgiving meals.

"Going to my parents house with my kids and my wife. We’re going to have a nice meal together, keeping it small, keeping it close," Rob Walsh of Bristol noted.

Shoppers say they’re excited to reunite with loved ones after COVID kept many families apart last year.

"I’m a nurse so I wanted to keep everyone safe and socially distanced, and it was a scary time, so we’re looking to celebrating this year and just reconnecting again," Walsh says.

Shelves are fully stocked with turkeys and pies. The preparations for this busy week at grocery stores began months ago.

"Oh God. We start prepping real early. Back in August, we were getting all our turkey buys in and making sure everything was all set and getting it all lined up so we could have a successful Thanksgiving," Curt Potter, the store director for Stew Leonard's in Newington, said.

Curt says this year, people are buying bigger turkeys and larger quantities of food.

"Last year, we did a lot dinner for fours and we’ve seen everything upgrade to a dinner for eight. Catering has been off the walls, just big parties," continued Potter.

Shoppers tell us they feel safer gathering this year because of the vaccine.

"All of our family, including us have gotten our vaccines and our boosters," says Walter Whipple of Burlington.

And while supply chain issues have led to shortages across the country, we’re told that hasn’t been an issue at Stew Leonard’s stores.

"Fortunately, we deal with a lot of local vendors, a lot of local farmers, so we haven’t had any real supply issues or anything," Potter explained.

Amid the challenges the pandemic has posed, shoppers shared what they are grateful for this holiday season.

"Grateful for my family," one shopper stated.

"I’m grateful that everyone has stayed healthy in our family," a Stew Leonard's shopper added.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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