US: Autistic boy who has lifetime supply of peanut butter is distributing it among unpaid workers
Washington, Jan 25: The commerce secretary of the country might fail to understand what makes the furloughed federal workers go to food banks and advised them to take loans to meet their costs, but there are souls who fully understand the predicament of those who have gone without pay for a month and are close to losing their second pay soon.
Fifteen-year-old Eric "Bean" McKay is one such soul. The boy from Virginia - who has autism - has decided to help the people in distress by providing them with peanut butter, something he consumes for all his meals and has a lifetime supply of, according to PEOPLE. He has established a local pop-up distribution centre to distribute time and again free jars of his favourite peanut butter to the unpaid workers.
Eric's mother Tracy praised her son when speaking to PEOPLE, saying he is one who "really wants to help".
The McKays' empathy emanates from the fact that Eric's father is also among those eight lakh federal employees who have gone without pay during the unprecedented shutdown which is underway since December 22 over President Donald Trump's inability to overcome resistance from the Congress to build the border wall with Mexico to stall illegal immigration.
"It's been a rough month for us with four teens. We're still trying to live off the last December paycheck. But Bean said we have a lot of food, what with all this peanut butter. He said we should share it," Tracy said.
There is an interesting history behind how Eric managed to get a lifetime supply of peanut butter, something he eats in quite a quantity every day.
Last October, the family saw its stock of peanut butter getting low and that was a concern for Eric whose diet is all about that stuff. He also likes the peanut butter variety available at a local grocery shop near his hometown of Woodbridge and he tweeted to the chain directly saying he was almost done with the 72 containers of peanut butter that Tracy had bought on sale in October. He asked the chain to have another sale so that he could buy more.
The family did not expect a response from the company but it eventually did, sending 72 jars of peanut butter in exchange for 72 retweets. The chain also said that if he could manage 72,000 retweets, it would ensure him a lifetime supply of the food he relishes so much.
"We just laughed. It just sort of plugged along. He was stuck at 42,000 retweets for awhile. Then a British author, Neil Gaiman, retweeted him, and it bumped him over the edge," Tracy told PEOPLE.