Fresh Thyme Graphic

Customers’ roundup dollars from Feb. 7–28 and $2,500 Fresh Thyme donation will pay students’ negative lunch balances

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market believes no student should go without a meal. That’s why the full-service specialty retailer announced today the “No Student Goes Without Lunch” fundraising campaign at its new Ames store. 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.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, Ames students’ negative lunch account balances totaled $47,932.42. Last year, the school district grappled with how to address this issue. In June, the Ames School Board amended a policy so that today all students receive lunch regardless of their negative account balance. However, with this action, the district still must find ways to settle students’ outstanding balances.

Fresh Thyme is asking customers to join them in helping Ames students and the school district. Through the “No Student Goes Without Lunch” campaign, customers at the new Fresh Thyme store in Ames can round up their grocery bills to the next dollar — or a desired dollar amount — when checking out between Wednesday, Feb. 7, and Wednesday, Feb. 28.

“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, store director at the Fresh Thyme in Ames. “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.”

Ames Community School District officials said 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.”

How Customers Can Help

Between Wednesday, Feb. 7, and Wednesday, Feb. 28, Fresh Thyme customers in Ames can round up their grocery bill at checkout to either the next dollar — or a desired dollar amount. All customer proceeds will be donated to the Ames Community School District to address food insecurity among its students and help pay their negative lunch balances.