ANGOLA — Wednesday morning, Eva-Lution’s Brevin Bennett and Ron Ish showed up at Cahoots Coffee Cafe with a load of juices and water.
The donation bolstered lunch packs being handed out every day, seven days a week, during the Metropolitan School District of Steuben County’s extended two-week spring break. The lunch packs include a nutritious meal, and now, a drink.
“That’s amazing,” said Cahoots Executive Director Tom Adamson, who is working with a slate of volunteers to make food available 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunches for local children will be provided at Cahoots through April 5.
Ish, a guitarist whose band performed at Cahoots in 2010, and Bennett, a 2015 Hamilton High School graduate who served on the Steuben County Community Foundation’s youth arm Forever Improving Steuben Together, heard about Cahoots’ outreach and extended an offer to help earlier this week.
Wednesday, Eva-Lution filled a need for the lunch program — drinks to go with the food.
Eva-Lution, a locally owned manufacturer established in 2015, has also vowed to help local restaurants weather the storm created by long-term quarantines in Indiana to prevent the spread of coronavirus — which has resulted in deaths across the globe. Cases have been confirmed in Allen and DeKalb counties. As of Wednesday, there had been none in Steuben County.
Among the products made at Eva-Lution are trauma tools like drills and bone screws, causing continued operations to be deemed essential during Gov. Eric Holcomb’s call for nonessential businesses to close. While some employees and sales staff have been laid off, the lines continue to run.
Eva-Lution wants to set an example for other local businesses by providing extra services for its employees during difficult times as well as supporting the community. Because many day cares and all schools have closed, employees have been allowed to bring their children to work. With parents close by, the children are under careful surveillance with Netflix, toys and plenty of space to move around in, said Bennett.
“It’s a free service we’re providing,” he said. Bennett said it helps ease parents minds during a time of uncertainty.
Eva-Lution is also buying 60 lunches a week for its employees from a local restaurant. This week, it was Auntie V’s. The company reached out to Angola Mayor Hickman, who provided a list of restaurants that are open and serving food to go.
“We plan on doing this for quite some time — until everybody gets back on their feet and things get back to normal,” said Bennett.
He said the Eva-Lution team is always brainstorming to come up with ways to make a positive impact.
Among initiatives in place during the virus emergency, if Eva-lution were to have a temporary shut-down, an optional interest-free loan will be available to employees to help bridge the gap financially, said Ish.
In a message posted on the company’s Facebook page, Bennett speaks to its commitment.
“During times like this, it’s extremely important to remain kind, remain positive, and if you are in the position to help somebody else out, do so,” he says. “Here at Eva-lution, our story’s always been excellence is a journey, not a destination. This is nothing more than a part of that journey.”