FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arvest Bank’s Million Meals initiative challenges bank associates, customers and community members to participate in fundraising efforts and nonperishable food drives to fight hunger in the more than 135 communities the bank serves. The initiative is needed, as the United States Department of Agriculture reports 11.8 percent of American households surveyed in 2017 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 resources.

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Arvest is conducting its annual initiative in the spring again this year due to the fact food banks report an increased need for food items in the summer, when many children do not have the benefit of eating meals at the schools they attend. According to the Food Research & Action center, in fact, only 15 children received summer lunch for every 100 low-income children who received lunch in the 2016-2017 school year. Donations to food banks also tend to be lower in the spring and summer than at other times of the year.

Arvest Bank kicked off the two-month, bank-wide effort to provide at least one million meals to local, hungry families today, and it will continue through June 1. The initiative will conclude later that month, when donations are presented to 70-plus locally selected organizations that feed the hungry in their communities.

To participate in the Million Meals initiative, customers and community members can donate nonperishable food items or make monetary donations at any Arvest branch, donate via the Arvest Go mobile app or call (866) 952-9523 to help. Every dollar raised through Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for those in need.

For more information about Million Meals, visit arvest.com/millionmeals.