Max Sheets watched with heartbreak as the pandemic descended on the U.S. last March, dealing dual blows to the nation’s healthcare system and economy. “Each day, we were hearing about more job losses, especially in industries like hospitality, entertainment, and aerospace,” said Sheets, founder and CEO of Wichita, Kan.-based chain Chick N Max.

Even as many restaurants were struggling to get by, the chain stepped up to help those in need with a heavily discounted item called the Wichita Proud Box. The ready-to-eat boxed meals cost $2 and included two smoked drumsticks, a side of white beans or Southern turnip greens, and a roll. The boxes were offered through April, and Chick N Max sold “a few hundred” of them, the company said, adding that feedback was positive. The three-unit chain also donated 50 to 60 meals each week to a local church group for three months.