Des Plaines-based Maple Leaf Bakery, an independent subsidiary of Canadian giant Maple Leaf Foods, has joined up with the Cure Autism Now Foundation, the largest private funder of biomedical research into autism, in a bid to raise funds to find a cure for the disease.

The partnership will run from today [Monday] until 4 April, during which time the purchase of California Goldminer Sourdough Bread, sold in 6,000 supermarket in-store bakeries nationwide, will help fund a Cure Autism Now scientist for one year.

Jonathan Shestack, co-Founder of the Cure Autism Now Foundation, commented: “We are grateful for Maple Leaf Bakery’s contribution to Cure Autism Now. Partnerships of businesses and organizations like ours coming together to support our children are essential to our continuous journey to find a cure for autism.”

Rick Anderson, VP marketing and retail sales, commented: “As the father of an autistic child, my family and I have first-hand experience with the daily dealings of having a child with autism.

“It is important to continue to support groups such as Cure Autism Now who are constantly working to find a cure and effective treatments. We are proud to donate proceeds from California Goldminer Sourdough to fund a scientist’s work for one year. We hope to make our relationship with Cure Autism Now a long-lasting one.”

Generally, autism strikes children before thay are two years old. It can cause extreme impairment in language, cognition and communication. The disorder affects over 400,000 families and costs the nation more than US$13bn a year. Recent studies indicate that as many as 1 in every 300 children born today will be diagnosed with autism.

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Participating supermarkets across the US include A&P, Albertson’s, Big Y, Fry’s, Hannaford Food & Drug, Kroger, ShopRite, Tops Friendly Markets, and Wal Mart Supercenters.