FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Arvest Bank has kicked off the eighth year of the 1 Million Meals campaign. The campaign runs though June 2 to raise awareness about food insecurity.
Arvest Bank’s 1 Million Meals initiative challenges bank associates, customers and community members to participate in fundraising efforts and nonperishable food drives to fight hunger in the more than 120 communities the bank serves. The initiative is needed, as Arkansas ranks 5th among the most food-insecure states in the nation, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Arvest kicked off the two-month, bank-wide effort today to provide at least one million meals to local, hungry families, and it will continue through June 2. The initiative will conclude later that month, when donations are presented to 75-plus locally selected organizations that feed the hungry in their communities.
On Friday evening, April 6, 2018, Arvest Bank is partnering with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Before the game, Arvest volunteers will be accepting donations to Arvest Bank’s 1 Million Meals campaign while having a variety of information available. Visitors will be able to play games and take their photo at our themed “Selfie Station” while waiting in line. All those who donate will receive a voucher for free admittance to a future NWA Naturals game this season.
Arvest Bank in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith/River Valley Region has partnered with 30 local organizations for the duration of the initiative. All donations received will provide meals to local, hungry families. Residents can participate in 1 Million Meals by dropping off nonperishable food items or making monetary donations at any of the Arvest branches in Northwest Arkansas or the River Valley or calling (866) 952-9523. Arvest credit card customers also can donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ points by visiting arvestflexrewards.com and clicking on the 1 Million Meals banner. Every dollar raised through 1 Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for those in need.
“Kicking off our 1 Million Meals campaign is always an exciting time,” Rodney Shepard, Arvest Bank president in the Fort Smith and River Valley, said. “Our associates look forward to joining our local food partners, our customers and the community to fight hunger. The donations we raise stay local and benefit these organizations. Arvest is happy to provide a boost during the summer, which traditionally has been a challenge in terms of fundraising and providing meals to those who need them.”
Arvest is conducting its annual initiative in the spring for the third consecutive year due to the fact food banks report an increased need for food items in the summer, when many children do not have the benefit of eating meals at the schools they attend. According to the Food Research and Action Center, for example, only one out of seven children who ate a free or reduced-priced school lunch during the 2015-2016 school year were reached by the Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2016. Donations to food banks also tend to be lower in the spring and summer than at other times of the year.
Each of Arvest Bank’s recipient organizations was selected on a local basis.
The Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith/River Valley Region partnering organizations are:
Helping Hands, Bentonville
Oasis Food Bank at Village Bible Evangelical Free Church, Bella Vista
Loaves & Fishes, Berryville
Johnson Community Foundation, Clarksville
Elkins Meals on Wheels, Elkins
Flint Street Fellowship, Eureka Springs
The Ambassador Club, Farmington
Life Source International, Fayetteville
M&N Augustine Foundation, Fayetteville
Salvation Army NWA
7hills Homeless Center, Fayetteville
United Way of Fort Smith, Fort Smith
Community Services Clearinghouse, Fort Smith, Arkansas and Sallisaw and Poteau Oklahoma
Maysville Bible Church Food Pantry, Gravette
Open Arms Food Pantry, Huntsville
Madison County Senior Activity & Wellness Center Meals on Wheels, Huntsville
The Grace Place, Lincoln
First Baptist Church of Lowell Food Pantry, Lowell
NWA Food Bank, Lowell Operations Center
River Valley Regional Food Bank, Fort Smith and Mena
Paris 1st Christian Church, Paris
Bright Futures of Prairie Grove, Prairie Grove
Bright Futures of Pea Ridge, Pea Ridge
Samaritan Community Center, Rogers
River Valley Food 4 Kids, Russellville
The Genesis House, Siloam Springs
Compassion Center of NWA, Springdale
Springdale Public Schools, Tyson and Jones Elementary Schools, Springdale
West Fork Elementary School Backpack Program, West Fork
For more information about 1 Million Meals, visit arvest.com/millionmeals.