Box Tops For Education: A Sneaky Ploy to Sell More Expensive Food

I’ve always seen those box tops on packaged food — you know, the special little dashed line boxes that say ‘Cut here and give to your school for money’. You’re supposed to cut it out and give it to your nearest school and then the school earns money from the manufacturer for things at school. And I always felt all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that the manufacturer cared about kids.

No. That’s not how it works. I no longer feel warm and fuzzy about box tops. In fact, I feel very, very angry. Because it turns out that the kids are made to hold contests to see who can bring in the most box tops and they get prizes, like candy, when they bring in completed sheets of paper filled with box tops. Each sheet has 20 spots for box tops on it. That is an incredible amount of prepared food.

So the kids are saying things like ‘Mommy, buy more of [food we don’t buy] so I can get a prize!’ And of course parents want to make their kids happy, but not by buying food they don’t need or want, because they buy generic brands to save money and cook from scratch to be healthy. It’s all a ploy to get families to buy food they wouldn’t otherwise buy, under the guise of helping kids. It’s disgusting, really.

If you are one of the families that can actually afford to buy name brand foods on a regular basis and/or you live somewhere where the healthy foods on the list are actually sold (which is not the case in my area, for example, we can’t get Green Giant brand fresh produce here) and these box tops don’t cause you angst and anxiety, then I apologize if I have offended you with this rant.

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2 Comments

  1. Oh, goodness! We are dealing with this exact same thing here RIGHT now. My daughter was devastated because I wouldn’t buy a product with box tops on it, for her school contest. We eat very little processed food and I buy a great deal of store-brand items (cereals, snack crackers, etc.) so I don’t have many in my home. She, with the help of my husband, scoured everything in our pantry and home the other day and came up with about 6 total — mainly from ziploc bags. Now when I’m grocery shopping she has to inspect all of the boxes for box tops and constantly gets mad when I won’t change my purchases.

    While I don’t mind helping support the school fundraising projects I’m frustrated they’ve turned this into such a huge contest for the kids. I think that anyone who turns in box tops should be entered into a prize drawing instead of having it all be quantity based.

    Reply

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