The future of Box Tops

What is the future of Box-Tops, and what's been happening with them?

Josh Hafley

What is the future of Box-Tops, and what's been happening with them?

Josh Hafley, Staff Writer

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Box-tops. Ah yes. Those little purple cutout things in cereal boxes. It’s been a while since they’ve come to mind. It’s probably been years since they’ve been actively thought about. But where are they now?


Box Tops is a venture run by General Mills to reward schools with money. How it works is you buy a product with the Box Top cut out on the outside of the box.  When you bring it home, you cut that little top out and bring it to school. The school sends those tops to General Mills, and they will actually give your school money—10 cents per top. At least that’s how it used to work.

“I turned in Box Tops pretty often, I loved it. I stopped doing it in about 3rd grade when I started forgetting,” Elise Bradford, 10, said.


Box Tops has announced that they will be switching to a digital system. What that means is instead of tediously cutting out each one out of every box, you can use your phone with the Box Tops app to scan your receipt after you shop, and all Box Tops products you bought will be read and added to your school’s earnings. You can determine if a product has Box Tops credit by the new Box Top logo on the box. The value will stay the same at 10 cents per top.


“I think the new system will be better because people are starting to use technology more, and especially for elementary schoolers. We only really cut them out if there was like a pizza party or something,” said Morgan Lesch, 12.


The Box Tops program began in 1996 and has been a major success. General Mills has given back over 900 million dollars to schools and educational institutions since its conception. This has helped to supply schools with some of the money they need to continue extracurricular activities or even to stay open.