Last day to fill out BPI workers aid form is Saturday, Nov. 18

Last day to fill out BPI workers aid form is Saturday, Nov. 18
Source: BPI
Source: BPI
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Former Beef Products Incorporated employees are finding help from the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce with filling out a workers aid application form.

The last day to file the application to receive financial aid is Saturday, Nov. 18.

It's been five years, but the meat processing company that shut down multiple plants, including one in Amarillo, announced a $10 millions dollars fund for former employees.

Back in 2012 more than 300 workers were laid off

After an ABC news report, bloggers and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticized the company's method of production.

BPI's production of lean, finely-textured beef saw attacks from everyone, driving off customers who used the meat product in things like hamburgers.

Numerous fast food chains stopped using the company's beef.

Due to the massive economic drop, BPI was had to shut down three factories in Garden City, Kansas, Waterloo, Iowa and in Amarillo.

Hundreds of people unexpectedly lost their jobs. The closing even caused a rift in some families.

Earlier this year the company settled a multi million dollar lawsuit claiming the company was practically ruined by critics who coined the term pink slime to describe the product.

The plant won an undisclosed amount of money in the lawsuit..

Following the suit, BPI established a $10 million fund to give aid to former employees harshly affected by the closure.

In order to receive aid, workers had to fill out application online.

The application process is only 3 pages, and contains mostly simple questions. Some however, can require a bit more.

In order to ease the process, the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce has stepped up to help people fill out the application.

Denise Rayford, Director of First Impressions for the Chamber of Commerce said she sat down with multiple people.

"I said we are here to help you. We sat, he answered the questions," said Rayford.

She said one man was so thrilled, he came back with friends.

"[One man] then came back two more days with other friends. He basically acted as a translator after we went through the first trial," said Rayford.

Rayford said as of November 16 the Chamber of Commerce had helped 18 people finish the application process.

She said seeing the joy of completing the application was fulfilling.

"They were so appreciative to have someone to be there, to help them. To understand what it means to them," said Rayford. "We also helped make it easy. We made it smooth for them. They were very thankful for that."

According to the BPI, more than 80% of former employees contacted about the aid have filed to receive payment.

How the $10 million will be divided among workers will depend on a multitude of criteria including position ranking, time with the company, and other factories.

Despite the tight time frame, the company is hoping to have money-in-hand to former workers by the end of 2017.

Friday November 17 is the last day workers can receive help from the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce

If you do not have internet access, but still want to fill out the application, you are being encouraged to visit your local library.

You can find a link to the online application here.

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