Temple, Pennsylvania, USA-headquartered Giorgio Foods, Inc. has announced that its frozen foods division in Maidencreek Township will be closed, with production ceasing in late December and shipments ending by late January. The unit is largely engaged in supplying pizza, pierogies and other frozen products to school lunch programs in 21 states.
Approximately 80 employees will be displaced by the shutdown. All are being invited to apply for open positions within other Giorgio operations.
According to a statement from the company, the decision to close the frozen foods division was made following an exhaustive strategic review. Giorgio intends to focus fully on its core business of fresh and value-added mushroom (including frozen) production and distribution.
“Giorgio Foods will work with school districts to support a smooth transition to other suppliers, especially with respect to cheese made available under the USDA’s commodity program,” reported the Reading Eagle newspaper on September 30. “Officials said they are optimistic that they can help customers secure other sources of pizzas and related products because the industry has an abundance of suppliers for whom school lunch programs are core to their business.”
Founded in 1928 by mushroom grower Pietro Giorgi, the company opened a cannery in the 1950s to supply the supermarket industry and got into frozen mushroom production in the 1970s. Its product line today ranges from sliced, diced and whole fresh and frozen mushrooms to breaded cheese sticks, empanadas and other appetizers, quiche, strombolis, meat and cheese crescents, artisan bakery products and other items.