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Lee Food Service Closing; 90 jobs lost

ALTOONA, PA (Nov. 4, 2009)—Lee Food Service Inc., created in 2007 as part of a reorganization plan to enable W.S. Lee & Sons Inc. to emerge from bankruptcy, announced they are closing this week, to the suprise of clients and partners. The family-owned company's 90 employees will lose their jobs.

W.S. Lee, a 135-year-old company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2006. The food supplier experienced trouble after landing a $250 million contract to supply the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and other agencies.

Lee Food developed a five-year recovery plan and officials say sales were up last fall. Since then, the economic meltdown harmed the restaurant industry, Lee Food's sales dropped, and the company has been unable to restructure its debt.

Lee Food Service has been a major distributer to restaurants, health institutions and schools in the area for over 130 years.

President and CEO Robert Donaldson said they are now working with Careerlink and other sources to make sure their employees will be in good hands.

Donaldson said he will have more details of their voluntary liquidation on Friday.

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