· By Jason Katz
A Plus and Mental Floss Features Popcorn for the People
This past summer, Popcorn for the People and the story behind our mission was covered by various large online publications. These features helped spread the word about the importance of autism employment and how we are combating the issues surrounding employment of autistic adults.
A few months ago in June, Popcorn for the People hit it big with a feature from A Plus. A Plus is an online publication website founded by actor and technology investor, Ashton Kutcher. It is also fueled by Chicken Soup for the Soul, which published the world famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. According to A Plus’s About page, A Plus believes in the power of storytelling and positive thinking: “To us, positive journalism means looking at the day's events critically, from all angles, and with hope. Our mission is inherent to the stories we share with you each and every day.”
Once A Plus heard of Popcorn for the People and our mission to empower adults with autism through meaningful, lasting employment, they jumped at the chance to cover us and share our story! On their website, our gourmet popcorn and our story was exposed to millions of readers; A Plus also shared our article on their Facebook page, which has almost 2.8 million followers.
A couple of days passed after A Plus released their article about Popcorn for the People when another hugely popular online publication, Mental Floss, wrote an article about us, as well! Mental Floss claims to be a “destination for curious people.” On their About page, they say, “An encyclopedia of everything, we answer life’s big questions and uncover stories so interesting our readers absolutely must share them.” Through Mental Floss, our story was shared to their 11.9 million monthly uniques as well as their 2.4 million followers on Facebook.
A day after Mental Floss covered Popcorn for the People, msn.com featured their article on the msn news website, which is ranked #4 for News and Media category.
Mental Floss, like A Plus, told Popcorn for the People’s creation story. Popcorn for the People began in a small popcorn shop in the mall and grew into a nationally sold trademarked product, selling popcorn tins and flavored popcorn bags. Mental Floss and A Plus discussed how we are combatting the 80% unemployment rate experienced by the autism community. Mental Floss shared, “Last year, Drexel University reported that only 14 percent of autistic adults who use state-funded disability services are employed in paid work positions.”
They also touched upon the difficulties adults with autism and other developmental disabilities have with finding employment. “People with autism tend to struggle with understanding nuance and social conventions, which makes the interviewing process particularly difficult,” Mental Floss shared.
These issues are exactly why Popcorn for the People was created. The problem of employment within the autism community often goes unseen and unrecognized. We strive to bring these issues to the surface and inspire other people across the nation and world to empower autistic adults through employment and delicious gourmet popcorn.
This is why we cherish being featured by such popular, recognized publications and media. Every new feature is an opportunity for our story, and the bigger story of autism employment, to be recognized and addressed by the public. The more aware the public is about autism employment, the more adults with autism and other developmental disabilities can be empowered.