Arvest Bank launched its annual Million Meals initiative to fight hunger in the four-state region the bank serves two months ago. Today, the bank announced that with the help of customers and community members, it has exceeded the campaign goal by raising a record total of 2.4 million meals in the fight against hunger. This is the second consecutive year for a record total of meals raised.
Launched in 2011, Arvest’s Million Meals campaigns have raised a nine-year total of 16,068,971 meals, which includes more than $2.8 million in funds given directly to the bank’s dozens of local food partners.
This year’s campaign total of 2,468,873 meals was made possible through donations from the bank, Arvest associates, customers and community members through fundraisers, events and nonperishable food drives in all Arvest branches throughout April and May. With summer here, the success of the campaign is especially meaningful because many schoolchildren will be without the meals they ordinarily receive at school.
“We are humbled, year after year, by the success of our Million Meals campaigns. We could not fight hunger on this scale without the hard work, dedication and generosity of our associates, customers and community members,” Roger Holroyd, Arvest Bank president in the Fort Smith and River Valley said. “Thanks to all of those groups, many of our neighbors in need will receive help.”
In Mena, Arvest partnered with Ninth Street Feeding Ministry for the campaign. This organization received the local donations, and this year 9000 total meals were provided in Mena. All money and food items raised through this campaign directly benefitted 70-plus organizations feeding local communities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
The bank’s decision to provide one million meals was based on the fact hunger is an issue in every community it serves. In 2017, 11.8 percent of American households were food-insecure, meaning they had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources.