KD kid: Hundreds of people step up to renunite this Shoal Harbour boy with his favourite food
Kraft's spiral noodles and cheese not being made during pandemic
Marcus Robertson of Shoal Harbour loves Kraft Dinner — not the regular kind, but the one with spiral noodles. But as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, his mother said, it was getting harder to find in the grocery store.
The 15-year-old boy from Shoal Harbour has autism and epilepsy, and is sensitive to many different foods. His mother says the spiral noodles and cheese is one of just a handful of foods he will eat — and as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed through the province, that presented a problem.
"I went to pick up groceries, and there was none at both stores that I went to," Connie Frye told The St. John's Morning Show on Thursday. "So I asked one of the clerks at the store, and she told me that Kraft had sent out a letter that they wouldn't be producing them for four to eight months during the pandemic.… It was devastating."
Frye said regular Kraft Dinner, which is continuing production during the pandemic, isn't the same for Marcus.
"I think it's a texture issue with him. He just really seems to like this one, the regular not so much," she said.
Scrambling to find some spirals for her son, Frye reached out to a friend at the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador who posted on Facebook asking for boxes.
"By the time I got home from the grocery store, she had posted. And my phone started going crazy with people all over Newfoundland," said Frye.
"Some of them I knew through a friend of a friend, but as time went on, most of them were complete strangers just offering to help us out of the goodness of their hearts."
At last count, the family has about 300 boxes of spirals, which Frye estimates could last a year. She said the family is overjoyed with the support.
"He is so thrilled," she said. "Most of the packages that we've got so far, there's been a little note or an explanation, and he is over the moon that all of these people are taking their groceries or thinking about him. He's feeling so connected to everybody."
Frye added the deliveries help the family in more ways than one, allowing Marcus to relax in stressful times.
"It means the world to us," she said. "His anxiety to not be increased during the worst of times.… Stress is one of his triggers for seizures, so with his anxiety going up, it was a huge concern. We don't have that concern now. He can relax and enjoy his favourite food."
With files from The St. John's Morning Show