Arvest Bank on Sept. 4 will launch its two-month, bank-wide effort to provide at least one million meals to local, hungry families. The initiative will continue through Nov. 2, and culminates just before Thanksgiving when donations are presented to 53 recipient organizations who feed the hungry in their communities.
Arvest Bank’s 1 Million Meals initiative challenges bank associates, customers and communities to participate in fundraising efforts and nonperishable food drives to fight hunger in the more than 120 communities the bank serves. The timing of the initiative is critical as one in six American households reported food hardship, or not having adequate funds to provide enough food for their family, in 2012.1
Arvest Bank in Fort Smith will begin its part of the effort to provide one million meals to those in need with a reception from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Arvest Tower located at 5000 Rogers Ave. Anyone who brings in a donation (food or money) during the reception times will get a discount coupon to Bob Evans restaurant.
Donations made at Arvest branches in Fort Smith, Van Buren, Alma, Greenwood, Poteau and Sallisaw will go to the Community Services Clearinghouse's Meals for Kids backpack program.
Donations made at Arvest branches in Russellville, Clarksville, Paris and Mena will go to Arkansas Rice Depot's Food for Kids backpack program. The backpack programs focus on providing weekend food for children in area schools. The backpack programs’ wish lists include individual serving-size juice, cereal, pudding, fruit cups as well as meat sticks or Vienna sausages, crackers and other individual serving snacks.
Local residents may help by dropping off nonperishable backpack-friendly food items or making monetary donations at any of the 24 Arvest branches in the Fort Smith/River Valley area or calling (866) 952-9523 to contribute. In addition, every Arvest branch is selling 1 Million Meals paper plates for $1 throughout the two months. Every dollar raised through 1 Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for local, hungry families.
In 2012, the bank-wide effort raised more than 1.38 million meals, up from the 1.2 million meals in 2011.
“Here in Fort Smith and the River Valley, every dollar donated or nonperishable food item contributed stays local and benefits support the Community Services Clearinghouse and Arkansas Rice Depot’s backpack programs. We are honored to join these organizations in providing meals to hungry families,” Craig Rivaldo, Arvest Bank president and CEO of the Fort Smith/River Valley region, said in a statement.
Arvest Bank’s 53 recipient organizations were each selected on a local basis.