Remember Eric “Bean” McKay, the 15-year-old teen with autism who’s love of Lidl’s PB&J won him a lifetime supply of peanut butter from the company after he told his story on Twitter and it went viral, garnering more than 76,000 retweets?
Bean’s story grew somehow even more heartwarming after he donated his entire PB supply to furloughed federal workers during the recent government shutdown. And it inspired Lidl to give back, too.
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Lidl has now launched a campaign to raise acceptance and awareness for those on the autism spectrum this month (April is Autism Awareness Month.) Starting on April 11, the German retailer will be selling limited-edition tie-dyed jars of peanut butter with a photo of Bean on the front (tie-dye is Bean’s favorite color).
For every jar sold, 10 cents will go to the Autism Society of America. Lidl shoppers can also donate at their local store’s register, or at the Autism Society’s page, online.
Additionally, Lidl will host a sensory-friendly experience on April 11 from 6-10 p.m. in all of their stores to make shopping easier for those on the Autism spectrum. According to a press release from Lidl, stores “will eliminate in-store music, announcements, and the sound of their scanners. They will welcome assistance dogs and provide more assistance for people on the spectrum.”
Bean’s mom, Tracy, weighed in on Lidl’s #BeanutButter, saying: “Not only is @LidlUS working with @BeanPhilosopher to benefit @AutismSociety with #BeanutButter but Thursday nights from 6-10 stores will reduce ambient noise, no music, lower lights & additional staff to minimize lines to make shopping more comfortable for sensory folks.” Though her post indicates that Lidl may be doing the sensory-friendly shopping on more than one Thursday, the store said that, at least for now, it’ll just be on the 11th.
We love that Lidl is not only donating to the cause, but making their stores more inclusive for everyone. We hope that they’ll extend their sensory-friendly experiences beyond one night, so those on the Autism spectrum—like Bean—can enjoy shopping there more often!
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