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Neurodiverse job opportunities at Popcorn for the People are open

Popcorn for the People's new factory at a former Wawa location on 9th and South Streets is scheduled to open in March 2024.
Popcorn for the People's new factory at a former Wawa location on 9th and South Streets is scheduled to open in March 2024.

In partnership with Popcorn for the People, Wawa, and Nouryon, the Eagles Autism Foundation announced in August a groundbreaking, multi-million dollar investment designed to help address and tackle the neurodiverse employment rate.

As part of the rollout, Wawa is repurposing its former Center City store (9th & South Street) and working with partners to transform it into a Popcorn for the People production facility. The production facility will hire and train adults with autism and intellectual disabilities to cook, prepare, and package popcorn, with $1 from every bag sold going towards the Eagles Autism Foundation. The organization will also train similar individuals to sell and sample its gourmet popcorn at various local community events.

The Eagles Autism Foundation, Popcorn for the People, Wawa, and Nouryon announced today that the 9th & South Street production facility is targeting Friday, March 1, 2024, as the official open date. The neurodiverse community, including adults with autism, are now welcome to apply for positions at the new processing center by visiting:

"Partnerships like this are an example of the amazing things that can be accomplished when everyone's mission is aligned," said Ryan Hammond, Executive Director, Eagles Autism Foundation. "The collaboration with Popcorn for the People, Wawa, and Nouryon has enabled us to broaden our reach and impact the autism community in a greater way. We are excited that the production facility will lead to new opportunities for neurodiverse individuals in Philadelphia and, in the process, expand on our commitment to building a culture of inclusion and acceptance for all."

Popcorn for the People is now available in several Wawa stores throughout the Greater Philadelphia region (Philadelphia, Media, Wayne), strategically located close to partner organizations, and will be in as many as 20 Wawa locations by the end of the calendar year.

"We are proud to align ourselves with organizations that are all equally committed to fulfilling lives in our community," said Chris Gheysens, CEO, Wawa. "It is exciting to know that Wawa's repurposed Center City store will create new employment opportunities and further position Philadelphia as a city of inclusion."

The Popcorn for the People stand inside Lincoln Financial Field's Pepsi Plaza
The Popcorn for the People stand inside Lincoln Financial Field's Pepsi Plaza

According to a 2023 report by the U.S. Department of Labor, at least 85% of individuals on the autism spectrum are unemployed. This rate is the highest among any other disability.

Popcorn for the People is a nonprofit that consists of adults with autism and disabilities who are leading the way in manufacturing and distributing popcorn across the country – changing the world one kernel at a time. The organization was founded in 2014 by Dr. Steven Bier, Dr. Barbie Zimmerman-Bier, and their son with autism, Samuel, who were, at the time, searching for fulfilling career opportunities for Sam. When no company was willing to give him a shot, the Bier family came together to combine America's favorite snack and a dream to serve the autism community to create opportunities for not just Sam, but others struggling with employment, too. In December 2019, the Eagles became the first pro sports team to partner with Popcorn for the People.

"I would like to thank the Eagles Autism Foundation, Wawa, and Nouryon for taking such active roles in supporting inclusive workplaces," said Dr. Steven Bier, Founder, Popcorn for the People. "Popcorn cuts through all social and economic lines. What started with a single stand in the Freehold Mall has transformed into a year-round business that is now creating a sense of purpose and passion for the autism and neurodevelopmental communities."

Hand-crafted to perfection, Popcorn for the People's assorted flavors include classics like Caramel, Butter, and Kettle, as well as gourmet creations like Dark Chocolate Espresso, Chicago Baked Cheddar, and French Toast. All flavors are gluten-free, kosher, and select flavors are vegan.

"At Nouryon, we believe in working for our community and doing things that matter," said Charlie Shaver, Chairman and CEO, Nouryon. "We started this partnership with the Eagles several years ago when the idea of Popcorn for the People was presented to us. So much is being learned about autism and neurodiversity. It is a real privilege to be part of this collaboration and have the opportunity to help establish new employment opportunities for individuals of all abilities."

For a great holiday gift with a mission, Popcorn for the People offers several options, including holiday gift boxes, digital gift cards, and six flavors of individual gourmet popcorn bags. To shop, visit their website at

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