Chobani CEO Partially Pays Off $77,000 School Lunch Debt So Kids Don't Have To Eat Jelly Sandwiches
Warwick Public Schools in Rhode Island announced a new lunch debt enforcement protocol on Facebook last week. As of May 13, students in the school district were to be given a "sun butter and jelly sandwich" if their lunch accounts show an unpaid balance.
The "jelly sandwich policy," as it has come to be known, has angered parents in the community as well as citizens across the nation. The prevailing sentiment is that children should not be shamed over the economic condition of their family.
As the arguments went back and forth over the policy, one man decided to do something about the situation.
as a parent, news of #WarwickPublicSchools breaks my heart. every child should have access to natural, nutritious & delicious food, so @Chobani is doing our small part to help pay this debt— Hamdi Ulukaya (@hamdiulukaya) May 9, 2019
business must do its part.. our responsibility as members of community. who will join us? pic.twitter.com/6HOTjDE4CX
Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO of Chobani, announced that his company will donate $50,000 to pay off the $77,000 in lunch debt owed to the school district. Donations have also come through GoFundMe and other platforms.
Warwick Public Schools responded to the severe backlash over the jelly sandwich policy and made it known on Facebook that they rescinded the policy and students will have the full menu of lunches available to them regardless of account status.
According to WSLS, Chobani has also pledged to donate to the local community.
Karen Bachus, the Chairwoman for the Warwick School Committee thanked donors for their help in an official statement and also wanted to emphasize another point. As a response to the claims of lunch-shaming in the district, she ended her statement to say:
"Please note that 72% of the debt has been accrued by paying students, *not* children on the Free and Reduced Lunch Plan."
Catch up on the story in the video below.
What do you think about the way Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya stepped up to the plate? Would you donate to this or a similar cause? Send this article to your friends on social media. It might even spark a much-needed discussion.