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Premium Service Brands Donates 200 Backpacks of Food to Local Families in Albemarle County Public School District Amid COVID-19

Through the home services franchisor’s charity Kids-Lift, franchisees across the network are encouraging their respective communities to give back through the non-profit to supply food to the families who need it most during these difficult times.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. — Kids-Lift, the nonprofit organization of Charlottesville’s Premium Service Brands (PSB), is supporting families in the Albemarle County School District through a direct food donation program in collaboration with the district’s department of social services. To aid children and families who may be in need of supplies during the pandemic, the nonprofit has donated 200 bags of food over two sessions — once immediately following the closure of schools, filling 80 backpacks of meals for students, and again as the shutdown continued, with the donation of an additional 120 bags of food. 

“Our mission has always been to strengthen the communities in which PSB works so that every child has the opportunity to reach higher and achieve greater in school and beyond,” said Kids-Lift Executive Director Samantha Lin. “Every child needs a boost to feel their best, especially now.” 

PSB has been able to step up in this time of crisis thanks to Kids-Lift’s previous work with the Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) in support of children’s education. This is the second year Kids-Lift has provided weekend backpack meals for kids at Stone-Robinson Elementary School. The non-profit also ran a back-to-school supplies drive in August for Stone-Robinson and Woodbrook Elementary Schools, followed by a food drive in November. Kids-Lift also provides snacks for 13 ACPS schools, donating 5,000 snacks a month to keep kids focused and in class. 

“In November, we ran a food drive to support families over winter break,” said Lin. “In conversation with schools not just in Charlottesville but all over the U.S., we came to realize that students who rely on school for food might not get enough to eat when school isn’t in session. The November food drive specifically addressed that gap by giving students and their families food for the two-week winter break. Through these initiatives, it became increasingly clear that these schools provide much more than just education.”

As the coronavirus crisis unfolded and schools and businesses closed, Lin knew that shutting down the schools could mean food insecurity for students. “We are grateful to have worked closely with ACPS before, so we already knew the channels of distribution,” noted Lin. “Luckily, it was relatively easy to start getting food to the kids and families who needed it as soon as possible.”  

Paul Flick, founder and CEO of PSB, is the parent of a fifth-grader at Charlottesville’s Stone-Robinson Elementary School. Flick personally went to the local grocery store in order to purchase food and donate it to the school community. Kids-Lift filled 80 backpacks of meals for students when the closures first hit in March and donated another 120 bags of food this month.

Additionally, Kids-Lift is continuing their donations with a Virtual Food Drive launched through their email network and Amazon Wish List. PSB's Amazon Wish List not only includes food, but also essential items that aren’t covered by food stamps, like diapers.

Premium Service Brand franchisees across the network are encouraging members of their respective communities to give back through the non-profit. “We are proud and excited to be able to support Kids-Lift at this time,” said Belinda Wiesehan, owner of  360° Painting® Gastonia – Rock Hill.  “Kids are going hungry without being in school and we would like to support this effort to help out the families in need. This is a trying time for everyone, especially the most vulnerable. Nutrition is an important aspect of learning, even if we are learning at home.”

PSB is also working to offer support for customers and employees in any way possible. According to Flick, as soon as the health risks about the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus became clear, PSB made several decisions that customers reacted positively towards. First, with all of their franchises open and operating, PSB made status changes to their brand websites and then set up emails to communicate with previous and potential clients about the steps that each brand was taking to stop the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the company began pivoting its business models, with three of PSB’s brands, 360° Painting, Handyman Pro, and Renew Crew, offering free virtual estimates to cut down on in-person interactions. 

These measures and charity initiatives reassure clients that PSB values, above all, the health and safety of their clients, their employees and their communities. “We are a company made up of small businesses and small business owners — our success depends on the well-being and trust of our communities,” said Flick. “We always put our customers first. And especially in a time of uncertainty, our commitment to our customers and their families makes all of the difference.”

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Kids-Lift was founded by Premium Service Brands to help kids achieve their highest potential in academics and beyond. Through work with Premium Service Brands franchise owners in communities across the United States and Canada, Kids-Lift is able to give back to vulnerable children, their families and their schools. The nonprofit’s unique approach provides effective programming to fit the needs of each community it works in, while advocating for ways to best address issues of poverty and hunger.