Chobani Pays off School District's Lunch Debt

June 14, 2019
Yogurt company to cover $85,000 in student lunch debt incurred by the school district in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Chobani has offered to pay off the $85,000 in student lunch debt incurred by the school district in Twin Falls, Idaho, where Chobani operates its newest, biggest yogurt plant.

The school district revealed the gift June 12, saying it would cover the debt acquired by more than 900 students during the 2018-2019 school year, which just ended.

The debt is from unpaid meal charges at schools across the district. If students or their parents do not pay off the money owed for charged meals at the end of the school year, the Twin Falls School District is left with the bill, explained local TV station KTVB. That takes money from the yearly budget that could have been spent on education.

The Twin Falls School District serves some 5,600 lunches and 2,100 breakfasts per day throughout the school year. The spokeswoman said the schools make sure students are fed even if they don't have money in their lunch accounts.

KTVB said Chobani's offer came a month after Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya gave almost $50,000 to pay off school debt at the Warwick School District in Rhode Island. That district had started serving students who owed lunch money cold jelly sandwiches instead of a hot meal.

"Every child should have access to natural, nutritious & delicious food, so Chobani is doing our small part to help pay this debt," Ulukaya tweeted then. Chobani was our 2012 Processor of the Year.

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