Popcorn for the People: Non-profit company employs adults with autism

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A not-for-profit popcorn company in New Jersey that employs adults with autism is celebrating its fourth year in business.

Popcorn for the People founder Steven Bier says that he originally created the Piscataway-based organization to provide meaningful work for his son, Samuel, who has autism.

With employees who range in age from 21 to 56, Bier says that he is so pleased with the continued growth of the business.

"I believe the business term for it would be ‘WOW.’ It has just exploded,” he says.

Bier says that when the company first began, they produced about 300 bags of popcorn a week. But now they produce 3,000 to 4,000 bags a week.

So why popcorn? Bier says that it is a perfect product. It is not seasonal, it is relatively safe to make and best of all – most really love popcorn.

There are several jobs at the company from placing stickers on bags to helping make the popcorn. Samuel, who says he's the caramelizer many days, tells News 12 New Jersey that the job has had a truly positive impact on his life.

"It's really helped me with my skills. At first, I thought I was never ever going to be a good worker but this has strongly helped me,” he says.

Steven Bier says that he hopes this non-profit will serve as a business model for other organizations to help those with special needs.

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