Chobani CEO offers to pay off school lunch debts in Rhode Island

A school district in Rhode Island came under fire earlier this week after announcing students with school lunch debts would be served cold sunbutter and jelly sandwiches. A local restaurant owner whose child attends a Warwick Public School was outraged. She had offered to donate $4,000 to relieve students of their lunch debts – and the school denied her donation.


After receiving public scrutiny, the school has reversed the lunch debt policy, and another business owner has come forward with an offer to pay off students' debts.


Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said he and everyone at the company was heartbroken by Warwick Public School's lunch money policy. Ulukaya tweeted that "every child should have access to natural, nutritious & delicious food, so @Chobani is doing our small part to help pay this debt."


Ulukaya's Greek yogurt company, which is headquartered in New Berlin, New York, stands by hiring refugees to help underprivileged people in the area. "Business must do its part.. our responsibility as members of community. who will join us?" the CEO tweeted.


The offer to pay off the lunch debts came about a day after the district announced on Facebook it would overturn its policy.


The Warwick School Committee Policy Subcommittee "reviewed [their policy] thoughtfully with the best interest of our students in mind," the Facebook post read. "That said, there are several points that we would like to clarify."