Hackler Intermediate students, Arvest Bank begin change drive


Students at Hackler Intermediate School and Arvest Bank started a change drive Monday to help reduce food insecurity in the community.
All of the contributions collected during the five-day donation drive will benefit Arvest Bank's Feed the Pack initiative where monetary donations and nonperishable food items are collected in support of the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas' backpack programs. The Mountain Home School District's backpack program is one of the programs supported by the food bank.Backpack programs send supplemental snacks home with children on the weekends and holidays, times when they may not always receive enough to eat because they don't have access to school meal programs.

Hackler Intermediate School Principal Allyson Dewey says there is a direct correlation between food and learning. When students are hungry, their attention and retention of information suffer. Dewey says students at her school have seen the success of this change drive in previous years, and they are working to be good community citizens for their classmates and the community.

The class collecting the most donations during the change drive will receive a complimentary popcorn party.

Sally Gilbert, Arvest Bank market president in Mountain Home, says the dedication of these students is appreciated as Arvest prepares for its annual spring campaign to reduce food insecurity in North Central Arkansas. Gilbert says by starting early, Arvest hopes to position the community for even greater results this year.

In April, Arvest will launch its 9th Annual Million Meals campaign collecting nonperishable food and monetary donations in support of local food partners. All local donations remain local. The change drive at Hackler Intermediate School and Arvest's Feed the Pack day are two grassroots projects in Mountain Home supporting the Million Meals campaign.

This year Feed the Pack will be held on April 26th. On that day, volunteers in Mountain Home and surrounding communities will be stationed at various locations to collect donations that will benefit the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas and the area backpack programs it supports. For every dollar donated, hunger relief organizations can provide five meals to those who face food insecurity.

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