Operation Lunch Box

Ross Fuel Center launches Operation Lunch Box fundraiser ‚Äč
Posted on 12/22/2022
Candace Warren, Tiffany Voyles, Joyce West and Corey Jameson.

Ross Fuel Center recently hosted a fundraiser, matching the total collected from its customer base, in an effort to help reduce outstanding lunch balances at area schools.

Tiffany Voyles, manager of the gas station on U.S. 67 Business North, donated around $600, split between Poplar Bluff Junior and Senior High, as the result of its Operation Lunch Box campaign through the month of November.

“I said, ‘I’ve got to do something,’” Voyles reflected. “I wish I could give them my paycheck. If I had all the money in the world, I would help more.”

Voyles became aware of the student debt issue from a collection effort taking place at her son’s school in East Carter, she explained, and learned about the vital role cafeteria meals play in the nourishment of children from her time living in Salem when schools were closed during the pandemic, she said.

A decision was made by company officials to match any contributions given at the cash register. “Our customers are amazing,” said Voyles, noting that sister company Leerjak Travel Center in Ellsinore also participated in the fundraiser, generating even more money. Voyles has worked for the Ross family off and on for just under a decade.

Junior High Principal Candace Warren said that her kitchen manager produced a list of balances, and the school applied $100 to the three highest accounts, contacting parents to notify them. “They were all super appreciative,” Warren reported. She wrote on the Junior High Facebook page: “We are so fortunate to live in such a giving community.”

High School Principal Dr. Valerie Ivy said she plans to pull data in order to identify students who may not have gotten applications under the National School Lunch Program submitted in time. “I’m hoping to evenly distribute the funds to students with the highest needs,” Ivy said. She added that while the library operates its Giving Closet to provide students in need with classroom supplies, clothing, hygiene items and snacks: “This is one resource we don’t have.”

At Poplar Bluff Schools, all elementary students and younger receive free meals through the Community Eligibility Program under the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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Cutline: Candace Warren (left) and Corey Jameson of Junior High accept a donation from Ross Fuel Center manager Tiffany Voyles (second from left) and Joyce West, assistant manager, on Friday, Dec. 2.

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