I’ve been talking about attending the Box Tops University at General Mills Headquarters, and I’ve had all sorts of fun pictures from my weekend there- but some of you may be asking what in the world is the Box Tops Program? Very simply put it is a program started by General Mills in 1996 for schools (and homeschools) K-8 to help them raise money to help make ends meet. But it’s not just for the schools, they need the parents and students to participate in order to make it happen!
These “box tops” are actually found in various locations depending on the participating product. Each one is worth $.10 – which may not seem like much, but last year $59 MILLION was earned by schools across America! That is just last year- since 1996 over $400 MILLION was earned for schools through Box Tops for Education. That is astronomical! As of right now more than 100,000 K-8 schools are enrolled in the program, and it is growing every year! In fact, 31 MILLION households clip box tops!
There are more than 240 participating Box Tops for Education Brands including Betty Crocker, Juicy Juice, Avery, Pillsbury, Kleenex, Hanes, Brita, Cheerios, and more! You can find a complete list of current participating products here.
Want to find out if your school participates? Enter your zipcode on their site HERE and they will show you all of the participating schools in your area. Homeschoolers and any school (public or private) K-8 may participate! If your school is not listed you can ask the school principal or administrator to enroll in the program by calling 1-888-799-2444, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, seven days a week. It’s FREE to enroll.
Once the school is enrolled a coordinator will be heading up the collections from the students in various ways. Some schools use incentives for the top earners, some schools throw parties, some principals even get involved and do crazy things like sleeping on the school roof or dying their hair pink! Every school is different in how they decide to earn box tops. You may think that $.10 per box top isn’t a lot but there are schools earning over $20,000 PER year!
For the School Coordinators
If you are your school’s coordinator for the Box Tops program then you will already know the website you need to go to when you’re ready to submit your school’s box tops. There are several things that I learned at the Box Top University which will help you!!
When you submit box tops they need to be in bundles of 50! You must remember this! It does NOT matter if they are separated into envelopes, baggies, tied with string, etc. As long as they are in bundles of 50. This does NOT* apply to bonus box tops. Bonus Box tops need to be combined together (no matter what they look like) in a separate bag or envelope. Refer to the picture above.
Also very important to note- it does NOT matter HOW the box tops have been cut! They can be a huge torn box top, cut neatly, partially torn, crooked, etc. You do NOT have to have the box tops in a uniform matter. As long as there is at least one corner with the expiration date showing it CAN be submitted!
Box tops are good for 4 years from the date they were issued. The exception is the bonus box tops- they are promotional in nature and have an early expiration date. So once you have your bundles of box tops together you’ll need to fill out their Collection Form under your school coordinator website and print it out. Print one copy to include INSIDE the package, and one copy to keep for your records. You must submit by Nov. 1 (payment sent Dec. 15) and March 1 (payment sent April 15).
Box Top Processing Fun Facts
During peak season up to 34 FULL TIME employees process box tops! That means the $59 million that was raised last year- every single box top was touched by human hands at the processing center!
During peak season there are FIVE semi-trucks full of box tops delivered DAILY!
140,000 Boxes of box tops were submitted last year.
Box tops are incinerated and turned into wind energy!
The top 3 US Cities on Box Tops Facebook Page in 2011: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas
Need bilingual information? Box Tops is launching their new Spanish site soon. You can find their Spanish Facebook page here.