Kanab family loses income, stability in Hostess shutdown

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KANAB — Americans across the country are scooping up one of their last chances at eating a Hostess treat after the company announced it would be closing its doors. However, the real tragedy is the workers who are now unemployed just before the holidays.

For the Hunter family in Kanab, the announcement couldn't have come at a worse time. The couple had just settled down with their 15-month-old baby, and the job had been a stable income that allowed Ashley Hunter to stay home with their daughter.

"We were really excited. We were finally going to settle down and have some stability," Hunter said.

Hunter's husband worked for a small distribution company in St. George. Hostess treats were their main products, and without it, they could not afford to stay open.

"It's not just will we have Twinkies in the future? Will our daughter eat those? That's the furthest thing from our mind," said Ashly Hunter, whose husband was laid off after the company shuttered its doors. "Our thing is if she gets sick will we be able to pay for the doctor anymore? Or how will we feed her anything — let alone Twinkies."

About 18,500 workers will lose their jobs if the motion to close, filed by Hostess, is approved. About 30 percent of the Hostess workforce is part of a union. Hunter's husband is not among them.

"We're in a little town in Utah with absolutely no say with what was going to happen to us. It was like the rug was pulled out from beneath us," Hunter said. "We had no idea and no say to what was going to happen to our family."

There is a liquidation hearing before a bankruptcy judge Monday afternoon, but Hostess is confident the judge will approve the motion.


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Devon Dolan


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