Fresh Thyme Fundraiser Tackles Food Insecurity


Grocery retailer Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has launched the No Student Goes Without Lunch fundraising campaign at its new store in Ames, Iowa.

All customer donations from the campaign — as well as a $2,500 donation from Fresh Thyme — will go to the Ames Community School District to pay students’ negative lunch balances.

“At Fresh Thyme, we have a history of being active in our communities. One of our key missions is to address food insecurity with efforts to make fresh, healthy food available to everyone,” said Grant Mohlke, Ames Fresh Thyme store director. “When we heard the severity of students in the school district not being able to pay for lunch, we knew we had to organize an initiative to help.”

At the end of 2017, Ames students’ negative lunch account balances approached $48,000, and the school district grappled with how to address this issue. Last June, school officials amended a policy to allow all students to receive lunch regardless of their negative account balance, but the shortfall still needed to be resolved.

To address this, Fresh Thyme’s No Student Goes Without Lunch campaign asks shoppers at its Ames store to round up their grocery bills to the next dollar — or a desired dollar amount — when checking out through Feb. 28.

Ames Community School District officials said that this is the first time such a private-public partnership has been proposed to address the issue.

“We welcome Fresh Thyme to the Ames community, and thank them for organizing this fundraiser and donating $2,500 to help our students,” said Ames Community School District Superintendent Tim Taylor. “We want to provide our students the best environment and all the resources they need to be successful in the classroom. The community has been supportive as we’ve worked to address the food insecurity among our students, and I’m sure they’ll show their support with this fundraising effort.”

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a full-service specialty retailer focusing on value-priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings, operates 68 stores in 10 states.



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