Arvest Bank has exceeded its 1 Million Meals goal by raising a total of 1,652,870 meals in the fight against hunger.
Launched in 2011, Arvest’s 1 Million Meals campaigns have raised a five-year total of 7,891,584 meals, which includes more than $1.3 million in funds given to the bank’s more than 50 local food partners.
This year’s campaign success 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. 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.
“I’m proud of our associates and customers for this great accomplishment and thankful for the generosity of the people in this area,” Rodney Shepard, president of Arvest Bank Fort Smith and River Valley Region, said in a statement. “Together, we have had another great year for the 1 Million Meals initiative that helps our neighbors in need. We hope our efforts increased hunger awareness in the Fort Smith and River Valley Region. We are fortunate to live in such generous and caring communities and I am grateful for what together we have been able to accomplish and look forward to continuing to give back to our community.”
In the Fort Smith and River Valley Region, Arvest partnered with Community Service Clearinghouse, River Valley Food Bank and the River Valley Food for Kids for the campaign. The organization received all local donations, and this year 144,470 total meals were provided in the Fort Smith and River Valley Region. 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 hunger is an issue in every community it serves. In 2014, one in six American households reported food hardship, or not having adequate funds to provide enough food for their family.