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Deliveries added to school duties

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MEDORA — The superintendent of Medora Community Schools recently expanded his job description.

Tom Judd is now district’s bread delivery man, picking up bread and hamburger and hot dog buns from a local grocery store in the wake of Hostess Brands closing its Columbus bakery.

“I stop by the Jay C store on Monday morning, and they help me load up,” Judd told Medora Community School Board members Monday.

“I tell them I’m the best-dressed delivery man in southern Indiana,” said Judd, who works as a part-time superintendent at Medora.

Hostess Brands, which had been supplying the school corporation with bakery products, closed in mid-November after failing to reach an agreement with striking employees.

So that means on Wednesday of each week, Judd calls a local Jay C Food Store and orders baked goods for the next school week.

On Monday, he picks up the order and delivers it.

This week, he delivered 192 hamburger buns, 192 hot dog buns and eight loaves of bread. A week ago, his order was 360 hamburger buns and eight loaves of bread.

Judd said he has checked with a couple of other suppliers who have told him they cannot add to any current delivery routes because their routes are already too long for their drivers.

One company official told Judd his drivers were on the road 12 to 14 hours a day.

“One supplier has told me they would give us a bid next year,” Judd said. “We’re working on it.”

Hostess stopped production at all 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers and 570 bakery outlet stores on Nov. 16.

Those operations employed about 18,000, including more than 200 in Columbus.

Joe Sheffer, principal at Brownstown Central High School, said that school district also purchased its baked goods from Hostess Brands until it closed.

“We were able to find someone new (Klosterman Baking Co.),” Sheffer said.

Crothersville Community Schools also purchased its baked goods from Hostess Brands, also known as Interstate Brands, Sara Hillenburg said.

Hillenburg, who is manager and trustee of that school’s cafeteria, said there were some initial problems with a la carte sandwich items on the school’s menu in the week after Hostess’ closure, but those quickly faded when the cafeteria found a new supplier.

In the days leading up to the closure of Hostess Brands, Hillenburg started looking for potential suppliers and wound up going with Sara Lee, a brand of Bimbo Bakeries USA.

“We’re feeling pretty good about it,” Hillenburg said of the decision.

Bonnie Burbrink, food service director for Seymour Community Schools, said Seymour has not purchased bakery products from Hostess Brands for a couple of years.

“We have been purchasing our baked goods from Klosterman, so we’re all right,” Burbrink said.

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