On the heels of Hunger Action Month, Downers Grove, Illinois-based Fresh Thyme Market has donated more than $1 million, which will be shared across 32 local food banks throughout the Midwest. The need for hunger relief is greater than ever, as individuals find themselves navigating in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent study conducted by Northwestern University found that food insecurity has more than doubled due to the pandemic and the correlating economic crisis. As many as 23 percent of households were affected earlier this year.
Since July, Fresh Thyme has been hosting a Round Up at the Register program across all of its store locations, giving customers the opportunity to donate while they shop. The funds from this Round Up program, paired with a donation directly from Fresh Thyme’s charitable foundation, will be given to food banks to help provide food and services to those in need. Many households rely on their local food banks, as well as other hunger relief programs, for food assistance as many experiencing food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs.
“This past year has challenged our communities in unimaginable ways,” said Fresh Thyme Market President Gerald Melville. “And this new normal has spotlighted the fact that we are all just a step away from needing food assistance. I am incredibly proud of our team members and customers for their part in our Round Up program. This donation is truly a culmination of all of our efforts. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against hunger.”
Fresh Thyme is a longtime partner of Feeding America and its affiliated food relief members. In September, Fresh Thyme announced a donation of $125,000 to the St. Louis Area Foodbank School-Based Market Program, a program with the goal of alleviating child hunger through the provision of food to children and their families in their local schools. In addition, in April, Fresh Thyme donated $36,000 to the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the local food bank of Fresh Thyme’s headquarters.
Fresh Thyme Market is a full-service specialty retailer focusing on value-priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings. It has 70 stores in 10 states throughout the Midwest.