Arvest Bank is embarking on its second initiative to fight hunger in more than 90 communities it serves.
On Sept. 5, Arvest Bank kicked off a two-month, bank-wide effort to provide one million meals or more to those in need. Bank officials have pledged to raise the equivalent of one million meals through bank donations, in-branch fundraisers and non-perishable food drives to benefit local organizations fighting hunger.
"Last year, Arvest raised more than 1.2 million meals for people in our communities and we are excited to do it again," said Mark Davis, president of Arvest Bank in Shell Knob. "This effort allows members of each community we serve to give back where they live, because all food raised in the community stays there."
This year, the Shell Knob branch of Arvest Bank will donate proceeds from the food drive to Shell Knob Alliance of Churches.
"We look forward to working with them throughout this effort," Davis said.
The initiative takes place in September and October, and culminates in early November when donations are presented to recipient organizations.
During that time, all Arvest branches will participate in various fundraising efforts in order to provide the equivalent of one million meals to 44 hunger relief organizations across four states, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
According to Feeding America data, approximately 16 percent of American households, or more than 49 million people, do not have enough food to eat. This is the highest figure since the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) began gathering data in the 1990s.
This Friday, Arvest Bank is asking local citizens to "skip a lunch and give a meal." Residents are asked to stop by the facility between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and donate the money they would typically spend on lunch to the one million meals initiative. The bank is located at 24832 Highway 39 in Shell Knob.
Those wishing to assist in the effort may also participate in a number of local Arvest-sponsored events throughout the two-month campaign. In addition, each Arvest Bank branch is selling paper plates for $1. Every dollar raised provides five meals to those in need.