Supermarket finds 400 boxes of Star Wars Kraft Dinner for boy with autism
Published Wednesday, February 15, 2017 4:50PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, February 16, 2017 11:45AM PST
It’s a story that could even put a smile on Darth Vader’s face.
A six-year-old boy with autism won’t be going hungry anytime soon after a local supermarket went above and beyond in its efforts to find his favourite food: Star Wars-branded Kraft Dinner.
Everett Botwright, who has autism, refuses to eat anything else after he recently became fixated on the food.
That put his parents in a tough spot when they ran out of the limited edition Kraft Dinner.
"He's on the autism spectrum and one of his quirks revolves around food," Everett’s father Reed Botwright said in a public plea posted to Instagram. "It's a struggle to get him his essential nutrients, and unlike most kids, no amount of 'tough love' or 'no treats until you eat your veggies' will work to coerce him to expand his diet."
When all the stock of the Star Wars mac ‘n cheese was cleared out, offers to help poured in from around the country, and even caught the attention of Captain Kirk himself, Canadian actor William Shatner.
“Can you possibly help? Even if you still have just the shaped macaroni they can use current product for cheese sauce,” the actor tweeted to Kraft on Tuesday.
While the Chicago-based company said it was “working on a plan to help” it was a local supermarket that stepped up to procure the youngster his favourite meal.
Nanaimo Real Canadian Superstore manager Greg Welgan said he thought it was odd that in recent days, he’s seen “an influx of customers come into the store asking for Star Wars Kraft Dinner.”
But after an employee filled Welgan in on Everett’s story, which had been in the news, the store sprang into action.
It soon found the product was popular with other islanders and reached out to Vancouver stores for help.
“They stepped up and are going to ship us over 400 units of this product for this young man,” said Welgan. “It was a fantastic feeling this morning to be able to call the dad and tell him, we’re going to be able to take care of this.”
The shipment, which is expected to arrive Friday, amounts to more than a year’s supply of Star Wars Kraft Dinner, he said.
That doesn’t include all of the other donations coming the family’s way.
In a follow-up post on Facebook, Reed Botwright said the outpouring of support has been “overwhelming.”
“There are so many wonderful and caring people out there. My faith in humanity has been thoroughly restored! I've loved hearing all of your stories and how Everett and our struggle has touched people's hearts,” he wrote.
Now that his son has been taken care of for the foreseeable future, Reed asked anyone still wanting to help to find a local charity they can pay it forward to, particularly those supporting families who have kids with special needs.