CONCORD- Thanks to a $100,000 donation from the Chobani Foundation, the school has opened a Chobani Food Bank for its students.

Back in February, the school’s English as a Second Language teacher Emily Francis traveled to California and was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Francis was selected as a guest because of her kindness and dedication to her students. A former Cabarrus County Schools Teacher of the Year, she moved from Guatemala to the United States when she was 15 and learned English.

Now Francis works to encourage her students that are learning a new language and supports families by providing them with studying techniques to use at home.

While she was on Ellen’s stage, Francis was introduced to Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO and founder of Chobani, who told her he is also an immigrant who learned English while watching television.

Ulukaya said he was so inspired by Francis’ story that he wanted to donate $100,000 to W.M. Irvin’s BackPack program, which ensures that students have food to eat over the weekend.

This week, the Chobani Food Bank was stocked with products from Food Lion and officially opened for students.

Principal Tonya Williams said thanks to the donation, the BackPack Program has now increased from serving 30 students to over 200 students each week.

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