Arvest Bank announced Thursday (Nov. 13) that it raised 1.806 million meals in its four-state “1 Million Meals” initiative launched two months ago.
The campaign total of 1,806,844 meals was made possible through donations from the bank, Arvest associates, customers and community members through fundraisers, events and nonperishable food drives in all Arvest branches throughout September and October. The bank noted that with Thanksgiving right around the corner, the success of the campaign comes just in time to help local food partners meet their increased need during the holiday season.
“Through the efforts of our associates, customers and members of our community, we are thrilled that Arvest was able to provide so many meals to our neighbors in need. Throughout the 1 Million Meals campaign we hope that our efforts increased hunger awareness in the Fort Smith/River Valley region,” Beth Presley, vice president and marketing director of Arvest Bank, said in a statement. “We will continue to fight hunger long after we’ve completed this year’s 1 Million Meals initiative by bringing people together to support those in need in our community. I am proud of our success and look forward to continuing to give back to our community.”
Locally, Arvest Bank of Fort Smith and River Valley Region partnered with Community Services Clearinghouse and Arkansas Rice Depot for the campaign.
These organizations received all local donations, and this year 138,014 total meals were provided in Fort Smith/the River Valley. All money and food items raised through this campaign directly benefitted 59 different organizations feeding local communities in four states – Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
The bank’s decision to provide one million meals was based on the fact that hunger is an issue in every community it serves. In 2012, one in six American households reported food hardship, or not having adequate funds to provide enough food for their family.