Sanger community comes out in support of Initiative Foods employees

It’s been nearly a week since a massive fire tore through a Sanger baby-food plant, leaving about 80 employees without a job.

As crews deal with the aftermath, down the street Initiative Foods is collecting food and school supplies for its displaced employees.

“The community has been amazing with their support,” employee Jennifer Whittington said. “To see the love and the friendship, it’s amazing.”

Supplies have been coming in from individuals, companies and organizations like Catholic charities.

“They donated so much,” Whittington said. “Food, clothes, water, bags – this is all them.”

Monetary donations are also coming in through a GoFundMe page, raising more than $49,000 and counting.

“Look how far we’ve come,” Initiative Foods owner John Ypma said. “We had a disaster on Sunday and we’ve achieved so much. And we’re so thankful for everybody who’s helped us.”

This, combined with success at Wednesday’s job fair, has things looking up for dozens of employees, who just days ago, were left with uncertainty.

“Everybody had an interview, everybody was going somewhere, everybody had applied,” Ypma said. “Everyone was looking forward to getting the yes from the potential employer.”

As far as the cleanup at the plant, trucks were busy today taking away debris – something that will take some time before they rebuild.