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Some schools say Box Tops revenue is down one year after its app goes live

Many parents and students alike remember clipping Box Tops off of their groceries and taking them to school. Each clipping could mean a ten-cent donation, resulting in additional funds for field trips, supplies and technology.

But a year ago, Box Tops for Education began transitioning from physical clippings to a receipt-scanning app. Receipts must be scanned within 14 days to count, or the value expires. If you shop online and use a delivery service, you can forward receipts to [email protected].

As a result, parents say they’ve stopped participating and some schools’ bottom lines are showing it.

Participant turned spectator

Wendy Canamucio of Naples estimates she’s clipped hundreds of Box Tops over the years for relatives.

“There’s always a contest with the class to see who could get the most for a pizza party or ice cream or something like that. it was fun,” Canamucio said.

Canamucio says she even went out of her way to buy products with the Box Tops logo.

“I had four little Ziploc’s going for each kid and they’d be all excited about who’s going to get it, or who had the most,” Canamucio said.

But since the program switched to the app, she says she doesn’t even both with it anymore.

“I couldn’t find the receipts, or stack them in a pile and say I’ll get to it later and then never did. It was inconvenient,” Canamucio said.

She says she’s submitted just three receipts this whole school year.

Schools showing a decline

Canamucio isn’t the only person struggling with the change.

In Charlotte County, Meadow Park Elementary School received $1,207 in the 2018-2019 school year, compared to $520 in 2019-2020. At Vineland Elementary, their year to year loss was almost $800.

In Lee County, both Pine Woods and Three Oaks Elementary Schools say they saw more than a $1,000 decrease in revenue from last year to this year.

And in Collier County, Laurel Oak Elementary saw a more than $900 decrease in revenue. At Sea Gate Elementary, they went from $1,337 in 2018-2019 to just $77 this past school year.

Elizabeth Sanchez runs the Box Tops program at a Laurel Oak Elementary School and says they use the funds for technology.

“Since it (Laurel Oak Elementary School) started doing Box Tops, it has made over $23,000. It it’s been doing this for about 20 years, so that’s not small change,” Sanchez said.

When WINK asked Box Tops for its annual revenue, they wouldn’t share it with us.

However, they provided this statement:

“For over 20 years, Box Tops for Education has been focused on helping families easily earn cash for their schools. Since its inception, more than 70,000 schools have earned more than $934 million to fund supplies, field trips, playground equipment and more.

“In 2019, we launched our Box Tops for Education mobile app, which lets shoppers conveniently earn cash for their school of choice by purchasing participating products and scanning their store receipts. By opting into the mobile app and scanning a store receipt, all participating Box Tops products and bonus offers ar​e automatically identified and instantly added to a school’s earnings online.

“Additionally, this past May, we focused our efforts on recognizing teachers. We partnered with Chance the Rapper on an inaugural award show on Instagram, where we donated $300,000 directly to teachers and schools, and through a social campaign (#GiveExtraCredit) in partnership with Kids in Need Foundation, we donated an additional $150,000 throughout the month.”

Reporter:Allison Gormly
Writer:Drew Hill
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