Shoppers who sign up for the Tops in Education program can choose to link their card account to a participating elementary, middle or high school. Whenever that shopper buys Tops, Full Circle or TopCare branded products, Tops will automatically route 1 percent of the purchase price to that school's account.
Money will accumulate through April 30, then be distributed to schools at the end of the school year.
That money can then be used by the school to fund sports or academic programs, to make upgrades in the classroom, or to buy new supplies.
For the first year, Tops will cap the total amount donated through the program at $300,000 throughout its entire market area.
"Tops in Education is a new concept for Tops, and we anticipate that the participation in this program will grow substantially throughout the years," said Kate McKenna, Tops spokeswoman.
Customers can register and choose their school by visiting www.TopsMarkets.com/education. Schools that are not yet participating can also visit that Web site and click on the tab for administrators to find out how to join the list.
"They will find the tools they need to register their school and also ... to help in communicating the program to parents, alumni, family and friends," McKenna said.