TWIN FALLS -- J.R. Simplot Co. officials have announced plans to close a distribution center in south-central Idaho, putting 56 employees out of work.

The Times-News reports a phased shut down of the center in Heyburn will begin in August.

Company spokesman David Cuoio says the center distributes mostly frozen potato products to quick-serve restaurants and other food service customers in the West and Midwest.

The company says it will provide the employees with severance packages and employment assistance.

Company officials say a new potato processing plant in Caldwell in southwestern Idaho with a modern distribution center will begin operations this fall.

The company says workers at the center being closed will be able to apply for jobs at other Simplot facilities.

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