Leaders in the northeast Iowa community of Postville have organized a massive donation program for the former employees of Iowa Turkey Products, the processing plant which burned down earlier this month. The church-based “Love to Share” program has been gathering items ranging from food and laundry soap to toys and clothing. A fire on December 20th left the plant’s 350 workers jobless, and tomorrow afternoon workers and their families are invited to a local elementary school to pick up the donated goods. Special accounts at Postville’s two banks will help workers pay bills. About half of the workers come from Mexico, Central America and eastern Europe and many lack the documentation to claim unemployment benefits. Some of the workers say they may leave Postville to find jobs elsewhere. Organizers of the charity drive say they want to send the message to those workers that the town cares about them and wants them to stay.
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