ENID, Okla. — Universal Management & Maintenance has had more sanitizing work than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Monday the company passed the proceeds of that work on to Loaves & Fishes of Northwest Oklahoma to help feed those in need.
Universal father-and-son co-owners, Hamid and Matt Habibi, and Matt’s wife and company office manager, Sara Habibi, presented a check for $5,000 Monday to Loaves & Fishes to help cover the extra costs of feeding those in need during the pandemic.
Sara said the company has taken on more disinfecting jobs than usual, as essential businesses seek to keep their places of business safe for customers and employees alike, and Universal wanted to donate the money made off those jobs back to the community.
“We have done some work with Loaves & Fishes before,” Sara said, “and this was the first place that came to mind, because they need the extra food supplies right now.”
Matt said the sanitizing work doesn’t really represent extra profits for the company, because work has slowed down in other areas.
“We’ve actually lost quite a bit of business,” Matt said, because so many non-essential businesses they’d normally service have been closed.
But, he said they wanted to give back and do what they could to support the community.
“Clearly this is a time of need right now,” Matt said. “People need food, and they need all the help they can get right now.
“We’re fortunate enough to be an essential business, and we haven’t had to lay off anybody,” Matt said, “so giving back to the community is our top priority right now.”
Matt said the company also plans to make a donation to RSVP of Enid, as more disinfecting and sanitizing work comes in. For information on those services, contact Universal Management & Maintenance at (580) 237-0400.
Lydia Kelley, executive director at Loaves & Fishes, said the donation will help the food resource center meet a “significantly increased demand” for food assistance.
“Right now, it’s just more food we can provide, and more people we can serve,” Kelley said. “It adds onto our ability to serve people in need at this time.”
According to a February 2019 report, Loaves & Fishes normally serves an average of more than 13,000 pounds of food each week. During the pandemic and shutdown, Kelley said that demand has more than doubled.
Of those coming to Loaves & Fishes for assistance, Kelley said 30-40% now are first-time clients, not including clients who have been there before, but haven’t needed help in years.
Kelley said Loaves & Fishes has been able to keep up so far because of support from the community.
“We’ve had a lot of really generous supporters like Universal in the community who have really stepped up,” she said. But, she added, Loaves & Fishes needs cash donations to keep coming in, so they can keep providing food assistance to those in need.
“We don’t know how long we’re going to have to do this,” Kelley said, “and we’re trying to help as many people as we can, and keep providing the same amount of food people would normally get if they came through the pantry.”
Article By: James Neal – Enid News and Eagle
Photo by: Billy Hefton
Sara Habibi, Universal Management & Maintenance; Matt Habibi, Universal Management & Maintenance; Katie Long, Loaves & Fishes; Mike Ruby, Loaves & Fishes; Lydia Kelley, Loaves & Fishes; Hamid Habibi, Universal Management & Maintenance; and Enid Mayor George Pankonin were present at Loaves & Fishes on Monday, April 20, 2020, as Universal Management & Maintenance donated money to the organization.