Arvest seeks to collect a Million Meals
Arvest Bank is seeking to collect nonperishable food items and monetary donations to provide food for local community organizations through June 1.
In Saline County and across Central Arkansas, the food and money will go to the Arkansas
Food Bank, which redistributes to other organizations to feed those in need.
“Million Meals is an Arvest Bank initiative to fight local hunger in the communities we serve,” said Saline County Community Bank President Phillip Partain.
According to the Food Research & Action Center, only 15 of every 100 low-income children who received lunch in the 2016-17 school year received summer lunches. Partain said without school to provide meals, many children face the risk of going hungry.
He added that food donations to local food banks tend to demenish in spring and summer.
“Throughout Central Arkansas, our goal is to raise two million meals this year,” Partain said.
Arkansas is ranked the second most food insecure state in the country, based on average rates from 2015 through 2017, according to a news release.
Partain said during the past eight years, Million Meals has raised
13.6 million meals for families in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
“This year we hope will be a continuation of that success,” Partain said.
He explained Arvest’s culture is about serving the communities where its banks are located.
Arvest has two locations in Saline County, one at the intersection of Arkansas 5 and Reynolds Road in Bryant and the other at the intersection of Military and Alcoa roads in Benton.
“In Saline County, we’re excited to partner with the Arkansas Food Bank, so all food and money collected in our area will go directly to them,” Partain said. “They do so much good work in our community and throughout Central Arkansas, and we want to do our part to help out as well.”
The bank is asking the community to bring in nonperishable food items from canned foods to dried foods to boxed cereal. The bank can also take monetary donations in the branch or through the Arvest Go mobile application.
Each Arvest brach is holding events to encourage donations. The Benton branch recently held a grill event and the Bryant branch held a bake sale with the proceeds going to the food drive.
The branches are also selling paper forks for a dollar. Partain said one dollar is equivalent to five meals at the Arkansas Food Bank.
Partain encourages the community to stop by and drop off donations.