A small southwest Iowa town that endured this summer’s Missouri River flooding is now losing nearly a hundred jobs at one of its largest employers. Teresa Paulsen from ConAga Foods confirmed through an email Wednesday evening that the company will close the microwave popcorn facility in Hamburg in mid-October and transfer that portion of the operation to other ConAgra Foods popcorn facilities.

The Hamburg plant produces Orville Redenbacher’s and ACT II microwave popcorn. The move will result in the loss of 95 jobs at the Hamburg plant. Paulsen says those employees were notified in meetings today and she says ConAgra Foods is committed to providing benefits and services that will help employees transition from the company. Paulsen says the bulk popcorn processing and packaging plant will remain open in Hamburg where 45 employees will continue to work.

ConAgra vice president of Operations for the Snacks division, Chris Whitehair says “We wish this decision was not necessary, especially given the challenges the Hamburg community has faced this summer.” Whitehair went on to say in a written statement, “Our people in Hamburg have worked hard to maintain normal operations in the midst of historic flooding. Nevertheless, we needed to find a way to run our popcorn network more efficiently and this was the most economically viable option.”

By Chuck Morris, KMA, Shenandoah