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Where will unused products at Golden Guernsey go?

Hunger Task Force hopes to give to those in need

Jan. 15, 2013

The locks on the Golden Guernsey plant have been in place now for almost two weeks.

The machinery has been halted and no more dairy is being produced at the Waukesha facility, 2101 Delafield St., that has been turning out products for more than five decades (it previously operated out of Milwaukee beginning in 1930).

And the Golden Guernsey trucks have not been loaded since the announcement.

That raises the question as to where the products that were made before the plant unexpectedly shut down Jan. 5 will go.

Golden Guernsey produces milk, sour cream/dips, cottage cheese, creams, butter, juices and seasonal drinks such as eggnog to stores and schools in the four-state regional area in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.

OpenGate Capital, the Los Angeles-based private equity firm that bought Golden Guernsey in 2011, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court last week.

WISN12 reported the plant and products are under control of a bankruptcy court-appointed trustee in New Jersey.

When contacted by the local TV station if it was aware of all the dairy products left in the coolers, the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee County, which serves 80 food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters in Milwaukee County, decided to see if it could get at those items to give to those in need.

When contacted on Monday evening by Waukesha NOW, Hunger Task Force Communications Coordinator Dana Hartenstein said there have been no developments on this.

"I know our executive director (Sherrie Tussler) wanted to move fast on this as we know those products can have an unlimited shelf life," Hartenstein said. "But we're still trying to get over there."

Hartenstein said on Monday she isn't sure how many products are in the facility but a longtime employee told WISN12 that 150,000 to 250,000 gallons of product is undelivered.

Hartenstein said she believes this is the first time the Task Force has encountered a situation like this where it is seeking unused products from a company after a closing.

With more than 100 workers out of a job because of the closing, the Department of Workforce Development and its regional workforce partner, Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Inc., scheduled Rapid Response orientation sessions for workers in the WOW region.

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