Arvest Bank in Baxter and Marion counties is partnering with the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas for the Million Meals initiative, a two-month, bank-wide effort to provide one million meals or more to those in need.Arvest is conducting its annual initiative again this spring due to food banks reporting an increased need for food items in the summer, when many children do not have the benefit of eating meals at their schools. Donations also tend to be lower in the spring and summer than at other times of the year.
The Food Bank of North Central Arkansas will receive nonperishable food and monetary donations made at Arvest branches in Mountain Home, Yellville, Flippin, Bull Shoals and Lead Hill until June 1st.
Residents of the Twin Lakes area can support the food bank by purchasing a Million Meals paper fork for $1 at any Arvest branch, calling (866) 952-9523 or using the Arvest Go mobile app to donate. Every dollar raised through Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for local, hungry families.
Jeff Quick, president and CEO of the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas, says they are thankful to be Arvest Banks food partner again this year because the support they provide helps the food bank respond to a tremendous need across North Central Arkansas throughout the year. Quick says this annual fundraiser helps the food bank build its resources to provide for its customers months down the road.
In its ninth year, Arvest's Million Meals campaign challenges bank associates, customers and community members to participate in fundraising efforts and make donations to fight hunger in the 135 communities the bank serves. Last year, Arvest associates and customers raised more than 2.1 million meals. This year's effort benefits 70-plus organizations in the four states - Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma - Arvest serves.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of American households surveyed were food-insecure, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle for all household members. Additionally, Arkansas ranks second among the most food-insecure states in the nation, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
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