Hormel introduces its next inspired fan, celebrate National Autism Awareness Month

Published 6:05 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2023

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Hormel Foods is sharing the special story of Danny Young. The 8-year-old boy diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) happens to be a big fan of Dinty Moore stew, one of the oldest brand names in the Hormel Foods portfolio. By sharing this story during National Autism Awareness Month this April, the brand team aims to support efforts that empower the ASD community. 

It all started with a Facebook message from his dad, Matt Mills, last February that read. 

“My son is autistic and obsessed with Dinty Moore beef stew,” Mills said. “It’s the only thing he will eat besides oatmeal. Danny was non-verbal, and ‘Dinty Moore’ was one of his first words. He eats it so much we call him Danny Moore.”

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Danny is one of five children in a blended family in Michigan. When he was 7, Danny was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and the doctor told his parents he would never speak. Danny also had diet and allergy restrictions that made it difficult for his parents to meet his nutritional needs. That changed when Danny was introduced to Dinty Moore Beef Stew. 

“My father grew up eating Dinty Moore stew and my family ate it all the time. Of course, they carried it down to us. We ate it as kids, all my kids eat it, and once we found out [Danny] would eat it too, it just made sense. It was great knowing there was something ready to eat that Danny loves so much,” Mills said. 

Inspired by the story, the Dinty Moore brand team traveled to meet its No. 1 fan and surprise Danny and his family members with a few gifts, including a one-year supply of Dinty Moore beef stew. In celebration of National Autism Awareness Month, the Dinty Moore brand team is giving Danny and his family another year’s supply of his favorite stew.     

“The power of food and its ability to make connections is what inspires us at Hormel Foods every day,” said Ally Sill, Dinty Moore brand manager. “When we visited Danny and his family, it almost felt like we were gathered around the table with our extended family. For us, and for families like Danny’s, the Dinty Moore brand is more than just a stew”. 

Danny’s family hopes to share their experience to raise awareness about ASD. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Hormel Foods is sharing the family’s story through a five-minute video that they hope will encourage other families experiencing the same challenges.

“We hope that by sharing our story, we can help people understand that autism is not a limitation but a unique way of experiencing the world. We want to encourage others to embrace their differences and celebrate their passions, whatever they may be,” said Jamey Young. “For us, it’s gathering around the table and sharing a plate of Dinty Moore beef stew.”  

Hormel Foods launched its Inspired Fan stories in 2017 to celebrate and honor the lives and accomplishments of some of its brands’ biggest fans. To watch the amazing story of Danny Young, visit:  www.hormelfoods.com/inspired/story/moore-than-a-meal/