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    N.Y. Families Can Turn Empire State Apple Harvest into Cash for Schools

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. - After hundreds of New York schools participated in the program its first time around in 2003, the New York Apple Association is repeating the New York Apples for Education initiative, with support from General Mills and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. - After hundreds of New York schools participated in the program its first time around in 2003, the New York Apple Association is repeating the New York Apples for Education initiative, with support from General Mills and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

    Through the end of October, students across New York will be able to raise money for their schools and show their support for the state's apple farmers, by harvesting stickers from New York State apples and redeeming them for cash for their schools through the General Mills' Box Tops for Education program. Schools that collect and submit 100 New York apple stickers will earn 100 Bonus Box Tops credits.

    "Just in time for the apple harvest and back-to-school, this exciting initiative encourages apple consumption with schoolchildren and at the same time helps get more funding to New York classrooms," said Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association. "We're grateful to Senator Clinton and General Mills' Box Tops for Education program for this exciting win-win opportunity for kids and our state's apple growers."

    "For generations, apples have been seen as gifts from children to teachers," said Sen. Clinton. "Now, children and their families can make buying and eating New York apples a gift to their local school. New York State is expecting a strong apple crop this fall and I'm proud that some of those apples will help provide extra money for our schools."

    Clinton added that New York Apples for Education program is a great example of how a company like General Mills continues to step forward to support communities.

    Since launching Box Tops for Education in 1996, General Mills has given more than $100 million to schools nationwide, including more than $6.5 million to schools across New York alone. During the 2003-2004 school year, New York schools earned more than $1.6 million through the program.

    The fall apple program will supplement the existing effort through which thousands of New York schools submit Box Tops for Education coupons from General Mills products and redeem them for cash.

    "We received hundreds of poster submissions last year and would love to see the number of posters submitted, and extra dollars earned, increase this year," said Jeff Peterson, director of Box Tops for Education at General Mills.

    New York's 695 apple orchards produce an average of 24 million bushels of apples every year. The state ranks second in apple production nationwide.

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