Giving back

Box Tops for Education donates $280K to schools in need to help advance equity in education

Box Tops for Education builds upon its nearly $1 billion legacy, providing a special donation to an Atlanta-area school.
Oakland Elementary Principal Andre Johnson with Students at Lunch

Supporting schools in need

As teachers and students return to school following the holiday season, Box Tops for Education is here to help them ring in the new year with much needed support. According to The Education Trust, low-income schools receive approximately $1,000 less per student in state and local funding, which contributes to inequity and lost opportunities for these students.

To support General Mills’ commitment of advancing equity in education, Box Tops for Education is donating $20,000 to 14 schools in need across the country ($280,000 in total) to further support teachers and students. One of the schools receiving this support is Oakland Elementary School, a Title 1 school in McDonough, GA, a southeast suburb of Atlanta.

As a Title 1 school, Oakland Elementary receives federal funding to support the academic achievement of low-income students, and with 79% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch, school leaders are determined to provide the proper nutrition to all their students.

With help from Box Tops for Education, Oakland Elementary is using the $20,000 donation to give students the opportunity to learn more about what they eat to fuel their bodies and get involved with the rewarding farm-to-table process with an on-site school garden.

$20,000 donation helps students grow inside and outside the classroom

Oakland Elementary is set to transform Box Tops’ $20,000 donation into a garden-to-table program, something the school has been wanting to add for a while.

“The garden-to-table program was important to us, but we didn’t know how we were going to fund it,” said Andre Johnson, principal of Oakland Elementary School. “Through this thoughtful donation, we’ll be able to ensure our students have access to and learn how to plant healthy and nutritious food. We are sincerely grateful to Box Tops for their generosity.”

By nurturing nature, Oakland Elementary is nourishing minds so students are ready to grow inside and outside the classroom.

Willie Marie Holmes, Oakland Elementary’s mental health and wellness facilitator, is leading these efforts with help from the school’s Young Men Rising program. Together, they have already set the wheels in motion by building garden beds and benches, planting seedlings in grow bags and more.

“The purpose of this garden is farm-to-table. With assistance from Box Tops, we’ll be able to feed staff, students and the community, and that’s exactly what we plan to do,” said Holmes. 

The donation from Box Tops will also be used to maintain mentor groups and support angel funds for the lunchroom to ensure every Oakland Elementary student receives a nourishing meal each day. 

Box Tops App: How you can advance equity in education with Box Tops for Education

Since the Box Tops for Education program launched more than 25 years ago, Box Tops has always believed that a child’s education is the foundation to achieving their fullest potential. Empowering shoppers in every community to support students and teachers who need it most, the Box Tops program has generated nearly $1 billion.

Box Tops is building on its longstanding commitment to education by providing additional support to teachers and schools in need. The easiest way to support schools and create more equity in education is by earning cash for a school in need using the Box Tops app.

“It’s truly an honor to witness schools in need like Oakland Elementary use their donation to support students so they receive the resources they need in order to flourish academically and physically,” said Lilly Moeding, Box Tops brand experience manager. “We look forward to seeing how all of the 14 schools plan to utilize their funds to continue to assist their students, teachers, staff and community.”

The 14 schools that recently received $20,000 donations ($280K total) from Box Tops include:

  • Aurora, CO | Laredo Elementary School
  • Bartow, FL | Spessard Holland Elementary School
  • Chicago, IL | J Ward Elementary School
  • Cookeville, TN | Prescott South Middle School
  • Fairbanks, AK | Salcha Elementary School
  • Houston, TX | Burrus Elementary School
  • Manhattan, KS | Northview Elementary School
  • McDonough, GA | Oakland Elementary School
  • Meriden, CT | Thomas Hooker Elementary School
  • North Saint Paul, MN | Cowern Elementary School
  • Porterville, CA | Monte Vista Elementary School
  • Springdale, AR | John Tyson Elementary School
  • Thibodaux, LA | East Thibodaux Middle School
  • Westminster, MD | Gateway School

Increase your impact now through February 29

Continue your support for your favorite schools through Box Tops for Education and you could have a chance to win $20,000 in Box Tops for a school near you. Through February 29, when you download the Box Tops app and scan your qualifying receipt including Box Tops participating products like Cheerios, Nature Valley granola bars, and Annie’s Mac & Cheese, you’ll be entered for a chance to win $20,000 in Box Tops for your school. Don’t have the Box Tops for Education app? Simply download in the App Store or Google Play.

To learn more about Box Tops for Education, visit