Many parents excitedly wait for their kids to get home on the first day of school, expecting to hear all about how it went. On her son’s first day of kindergarten, Ricki Weisberg filmed him getting off the school bus, but got an unexpected review. “Terrible sandwich, by the way,” Abe Ndege told his mom with a deadpan expression.
“Thanks for telling me,” Weisberg replied to her son.
“Really terrible,” Abe continued.
Weisberg, who lives in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, captured the hilariously honest review from her 5-year-old on video four years ago, and shares it on social media every year to mark the start of the school year.
But when she shared it this year, as Abe entered fourth grade, something different happened. “The difference what happened this year is instead of just posting it to my friends in my Instagram feed or in my stories, I posted it on TikTok for the first time. And then TikTok did its thing and it really went viral,” Weisberg told CBS News.
The video has received more than 15 million views on her TikTok page. Many commenters wondered – what was on that sandwich?
“I didn’t realize I needed to pack Abe a sandwich because in our town, kindergarten is still half day. And so, I thought the benefit of a half day is that I didn’t have to pack him a lunch. I was wrong,” Weisberg said. “We had nothing in the house, we can’t send peanut butter in because of the kids with the peanut allergies. So, I came up with this idea to do a butter and jelly sandwich.”
Abe said when he got home from school that day, he had his mom try the sandwich herself – and she agreed, it was terrible. “I think the world has known that was a truly terrible sandwich,” Weisberg laughed.
While the video was taken in 2018, Abe is gaining fame for it now, at 10 years old. “At school, I definitely get recognized. I hired three bodyguards,” he said, explaining that his “bodyguards” are three friends. “I’m always running around at snack, escaping crowds of children.”
After getting so much attention for his unexpected review, Abe and his mom decided to turn the spotlight on others.
“We launched terriblesandwich.com as a way to try raise funds and awareness to fight childhood hunger,” Weisberg said. “It’s a cause that’s close to our hearts. And we wanted to use this little moment in the spotlight to give back and try to do some good.”
Weisberg and her son are going to sell merchandise that says their now-iconic lines: “Terrible sandwich” and “Thanks for letting me know.”
They are going to donate 50% of the money they make to the nonprofit Feeding America, which has a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other community-based agencies.
Abe went viral for saying what’s on his mind — and what’s on his mind these days, isn’t terrible at all. “How I feel about this little time in fame, I don’t want everything going to me. I want some of this funding for someone else. Like hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of hungry children around the world,” he said.