Good Food News - An Immigrant Steps Up
What could have been a sad food news story became a good food news story because of an immigrant entrepreneur. This story embodies almost everything I love: feeding children, community, Turkey, immigrants, and upstate NY!
At the beginning of May, reports came out that the Warwick School District in Rhode Island was about to implement a policy that students who had outstanding school lunch debt would only be served sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. According to the school district, the children had over $77,000 in school lunch debt and the district was facing millions of dollars in budget deficits this coming fiscal year. This shaming of children and families who couldn’t afford to pay for food caused outrage across the United States.
Hamdi Ulukaya is a Turkish immigrant and the CEO of Chobani Yogurt (which happens to be headquartered in Norwich NY, about 20 minutes from my hometown in Upstate NY). He stepped up and announced that his company would be paying off and covering the expenses for these students.
Mr. Ulukaya stated "As a parent, this news breaks my heart. For every child, access to naturally nutritious and delicious food should be a right, not a privilege. When our children are strong, our families are stronger, and when our families are strong, our communities are stronger. Business can and must do its part to solve the hunger crisis in America and do its part in the communities they call home.”
Teşekkür ederim bay Ulukaya! Thank you, Mr. Ulukay!