HILBERT, Wis. (AP) — Sargento Foods is expanding in eastern Wisconsin for the fourth time in the past decade.

The company is adding 40,000 square feet and 150 jobs to its Hilbert location, WLUK-TV reported . The Hilbert location currently employs about 300 people.

The company is expanding to meet the growing demand for natural cheese, said Portia Young, Director of Corporate Communications for Sargento Foods.

"A lot of people like to snack instead of just eating meals right now, so we're really capitalizing on that trend and our innovative products are speaking to that trend and trying to meet that consumer need," Young said.

The company said the starting pay rate for a general labor position is $18.45 an hour.

"We know that there is great talent in this community, not only in Hilbert, but also in the Fox Valley that we can draw from," Young said.

Village officials said the company has had a positive impact on the community.

"It's been huge," said Dennis DuPrey, Hilbert's administrator, treasurer, and clerk. "They've been a great employer in the village. They've been a great supporter of the village through donations, things like that."

Village officials said they're already preparing to accommodate more people coming to work for the company. Hilbert has purchased 50 acres of land near the facility that will be turned into a residential area, DuPrey said.

The company's expansion is expected to be completed by summer 2018.

The Plymouth-based company has more than 1,900 employees overall and net sales exceeding $1.3 billion.

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Information from: WLUK-TV, http://www.fox11online.com