One in five adults and one in four children don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
Arvest Bank’s Million Meals initiative is hoping to change those numbers.
It’s challenging people in the River Valley and Northwest Arkansas to help provide at least one million meals to families in need.
Donations received go to local food pantries like the Samaritan House, which provides snack packs for schools.
The organization’s summer program works with school counselors to help provide 6,000 to kids every week.
“There’s nothing that would tell you that they’re hungry,” nutrition manager Eujeanie Luker says.
“We have several students, many of our students, I would say most are on free or reduced lunch. I think the need is greater than we think, there’s some shame involved in food insecurity, some embarrassment. Families are not going to publicize they need food but I think the need is great and the snack packs fill that need,” Bayyari School counselor Stephanie Bentley says.
“It’s the school counselors who have the true heartbeat on identifying children who are true food insecure,” Snackpack for Kids coordinator Joe Raleigh says.
To get involved with the initiative, drop off non-perishable food items or make monetary donations at any Arvest location.
Every dollar raised through Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for those in need.