Arvest Bank launched its annual Million Meals initiative to fight hunger in the four-state region the bank serves two months ago. Today, the bank announced that with the help of customers and community members, it has exceeded the campaign goal by raising more than 1.68 million meals.

Launched in 2011, Arvest’s Million Meals campaigns have raised an 11-year total of 18,749,881 meals, which includes more than $3.3 million in funds given directly to the bank’s dozens of local food partners.

This year’s campaign total of 1,680,910 meals was made possible through donations from the bank, Arvest associates, customers and community members from April 5-May 29. The success of the campaign is especially meaningful as summer approaches because many children will be without the meals they ordinarily receive at school.

“Communities throughout the Arkansas River Valley area are committed to helping reduce the problem of food insecurity and they are always supportive of this campaign,” said Brooks Davis, community bank president of Arvest Bank in Conway and Morrilton. “We thank everyone who donated for helping us meet the needs of our friends and neighbors right here in our local area. The spirit of support and community makes this a great place to live.”

In Conway and Morrilton, Arvest partnered with the Arkansas Food Bank for the campaign. All money raised through this campaign directly benefited 90-plus organizations feeding local communities in 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 2019, the most recent year statistics are available, 10.5 percent of American households were food-insecure, meaning they had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resource.

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