Arvest Bank’s 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 135 communities the bank serves. The initiative is needed, as Arkansas ranks 2nd 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 1. The initiative will conclude later that month, when donations are presented to 70-plus locally selected organizations that feed the hungry in their communities.
Arvest in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith-River Valley area, has partnered with numerous non-profits for the duration of the initiative. All donations received will go to provide meals to local, hungry families. Community members can participate in Million Meals by dropping off nonperishable food items or making monetary donations at any of the Arvest branches, or calling (866) 952-9523 or using the Arvest Go mobile app. Every dollar raised through Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for those in need.
“Kicking off our Million Meals campaign is always an exciting time,” Craig Rivaldo, Arvest Bank president in Benton County, said. “Our associates look forward to joining (Organization), our customers and the community to fight hunger, and it’s nice to know the donations we raise here will stay local.”
Arvest is conducting its annual initiative in the spring again this 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, the average daily student participation in the Summer Nutrition Program in Arkansas is just 10.7 percent of the average daily student participation in the National School Lunch Program.
Helping Hands, Bentonville
Oasis Food Bank at Village Bible Evangelical Free Church, Bella Vista
Loaves & Fishes, Berryville
H20, Inc- Help 2 Others, Centerton
Elkins Public Schools, 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
GFA Pantry, Gentry
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 Life Ministries, Prairie Grove
The Ridge Community Church- Loaves ’n’ Fishes Food Pantry, Pea Ridge
Samaritan Community Center, Rogers
The Manna Center, Siloam Springs
Feed the 479, Springdale
Springdale Public Schools, Tyson and Jones Elementary Schools, Springdale
West Fork Elementary School Backpack Program, West Fork
Donations to food banks also tend to be lower in the spring and summer than at other times of the year. For more information about Million Meals, visit arvest.com/millionmeals
Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2018, operates more than 270 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 14 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 135 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.