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Former Hostess workers scramble after job loss

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Phillips, 53, began working at Hostess when he was 17. He now receives $320 a week in unemployment benefits, which equals about half his former pay. Looking at a stack of bills in his kitchen on a recent weekday morning, he said making the check stretch is a challenge.

"I’ve never been on unemployment," he said.

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He has been unable to find a job doing factory work and is mulling applying at a nearby gas station. Phillips, who lives alone, said the loss of income wasn’t something he prepared for.

"You figure Wonder Bread has been around for years," he said. "No one expected them to shut the whole business down."

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