7hills Employee Discusses Importance Of Events Like The Million Meals Campaign

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- With just a few days left in Arvest's Million Meals Campaign, a woman who used to receive help from 7hills and now works there discusses the importance of these events.

Around eight years ago, Kristina Andazola went through a divorce.

She said she was left with everything including all the bills.

Andazola said she did everything she could to keep her and her children off the streets.

She soon discovered the help that 7hills provided.

She said being able to come in and fill up a food bag really helped out because SNAP didn't pay for everything.

Food went fast, especially during the summer months.

Schools during the summer can't provide breakfast or lunch to students.

Having a place where you can fill up a bag of food is a big asset she said for people that are just trying to get by.

"They are trying to make sure their bills are paid, make sure their lights stay on and sometimes they come up a little short in the food department," Andazola said. "So when we have food here at 7hills especially through Million Meals it helps so much. It helps sustain their family through the month."

7hills is just one of the places that will benefit from the Million Meals Campaign.

Karen Gray, the vice president of marketing and public relations with Arvest, used to be on the board for the organization.

She watched as Andazola worked to where she is today.

For the past two months the campaign has been going on, Gray said people have been very willing to give.

"We serve more than 120 communities across the Arvest footprint and they love that their money is going in and giving back to their local community," Gray said. "They love that, they’ve donated for years now. We’ve exceeded one million meals every year. We hope to exceed two million this year."

There is still some time left to donate.

The campaign officially ends June 2.

Gray said donations of money or food can be dropped off at any Arvest location or they can be made online by using their Arvest Go app.

She said they plan to tally up the number of meals gathered in Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith on June 19.