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How to help those affected by liquid nitrogen leak at Foundation Food Group in Gainesville
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Candles and flowers are left along Centennial Drive near Foundation Food Group Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, in memory of the six who died from a nitrogen leak at the plant. - photo by Scott Rogers

Several efforts have been set up to help the families of the six people killed and others injured in the Jan. 28 nitrogen leak at Foundation Food Group in Gainesville.

One of the first efforts organized was a GoFundMe account is to “support the medical, legal and family expenses of impacted families,” according to the page.

“The poultry plant where this incident occurred is part of Georgia's prolific meatpacking industry — the largest source of employment in Gainesville and the surrounding region,” according to the fundraiser. “These factories rely disproportionately on the labor of immigrants and people of color. Unfortunately, despite recognizing the necessity of this labor, few protections or systems of support exist for these vulnerable community members.”

Additional fundraising efforts have been organized for individuals.

  • Family of Saulo Suarez-Bernal, 41, of Dawsonville, confirmed with The Times that donations can be made to this GoFundMe page.
  • Family of Edgar Vera-Garcia, 28, of Gainesville, confirmed with The Times that donations can be made to this GoFundMe page.

A prayer vigil was held Jan. 30 outside the plant, and community leaders there said they were working to organize help for those affected by the incident. 

Art Gallegos Jr., president of the Latinos Conservative Organization, said in mid-February that an account called the “Gainesville Families Victims Hope Fund” was set up at Peach State Bank & Trust to “recognize the contributions and sacrifices of poultry workers and their families.”

Those interested in contributing can call 678-614-5011.

In a separate effort, Hispanic Alliance-GA was able to give $4,000 per family. Executive Director Vanesa Sarazua said Monday, Feb. 15, that five families were able to pick up the check last week, and they are hoping to hand the check to the final family.

“It affects us all, and this is a great loss to our community,” Sarazua said. “These are people who had roots in our community, who had large extended families in our community. They were part of our community, and I think that we have to come together and support those families.”

Sarazua asked those that want to donate or contribute something for the families to reach out through their website, hispanicalliancega.org, and mention the Foundation Food Group families.

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