Distributor American Solutions for Business (PPAI 101656, D12) recently packed meals for local children through the United Way’s Backpack Attack program. A team of about 15 home office employees, including founder and CEO Larry Zavadil, took turns coming into the Glenwood, Minnesota, office over the course of a week to pack 575 meals.

Typically, the Backpack Attack program provides meals over the weekend for children who would otherwise not have food. Now, during the pandemic, there is a greater need due to temporary closures of businesses, unemployment and struggles for parents to make ends meet.

“I’m proud that despite everything going on, we can still contribute to making our community a better place,” says Zavadil. “It was empowering to participate and give back with the team I miss seeing every day.”

With students learning from home, the bags will be delivered via school buses to the children to ensure they’re getting proper nutrition. The bags packed this last week will help provide meals to these students for the remainder of the school year.

“Many families have been faced with changes to their employment and income, and this program can provide supplemental food for children over the weekend to allow families to continue to ensure that basic needs are met and stretch their dollars and maintain their financial stability,” says Jen Jabas, executive director of the United Way Douglas & Pope Counties. “We’re grateful for the team at American Solutions for Business for coming together in times of need to support our community through the Backpack Attack program.”

Katie Hallstrom, director of human resources at ASB, adds, “It’s wonderful to see the number of volunteers interested in helping such a wonderful cause! Throughout the packing event, we helped to ensure the safety of our employees with everything set up with appropriate distances between food stations to practice social distancing. We only had three to four employees pack at any one time and ensured continuous hand washing and use of hand sanitizers. We’re glad we could make an impact while also keeping our team safe.”