This program earns serious cash for schools
If you have a child of a certain age, you’re intimately familiar with cutting out box tops for months, placing them in baggies, and faithfully sending them into your schools. It’s a fantastic program that raises money for schools with little effort on the part of parents — and now it just became even easier.
General Mills, headquartered in Minnesota and who founded the program 23 years ago, announced this week the program will soon be digital-only.
“Box Tops is changing to fit today’s families,” their website said. “The new and improved Box Tops mobile app uses state-of-the-art technology to scan your store receipt, find participating products and instantly add Box Tops to your school’s earnings online.”
If you aren’t familiar with the Box Tops for Education program, they’ve been raising money for schools since 1996 through food purchases. Participating products have a section of their product parents and kids can cut out — and every product purchased earns ten cents (or more for special promos) for your eligible enrolled school (up to 20,000 cash per year). The money can go towards school supplies, books, classes, and whatever else they are lacking (which is often a lot).
If you see the label below, simply use the new Box Tops app to scan your receipt. Box Tops are still worth the same amount and what’s great is the app will instantly add cash to your school’s earnings online (Hint: No more baggies) and automatically analyzes which products were box-tops items, leaving the guesswork out of the equation.
But what if your family shops online? No problem — the company says they are “prioritizing the functionality of our app to accept electronic receipts for Box Tops redemption” which should be in place by the end of summer.
What’s more — the mobile app will allow participants to track their personal contributions as well as the school’s running total, so next time you see Maddyson’s mom in the school drop-off line you can stick your phone out the window and yell “Suck it, Maddyson’s mom. I’m winning.” (Am I the only one who only knows other parents’ by their kid’s name?)
People are understandably mixed about whether this will help or hurt schools:
One thing to note with the new program — receipts must be scanned within 14 days of purchase but you can scan 50 receipts per day per registered account so, game on.
For those sitting on old-school clippings, General Mills says there will be a transition period during which each item can be counted twice — once during the receipt scan and another by mailing in the traditional box top. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever seen one.
Since the program’s inception, 70,000 schools have received more than $913 million — and counting. The digitalization of the program may make it even easier which means schools may earn even more per year.
“Modernizing Box Tops to fit the needs of today’s families brings the next generation of supporters and brands into the program” Erin Anderson, manager, Box Tops for Education, said in a statement. “So we can stay true to our mission: to help schools get what they need.”