Arvest Bank launched its annual 1 Million Meals initiative to fight hunger in the four-state region the bank serves two months ago. Last week, the bank announced that with the help of customers and community members, it has exceeded the campaign goal by raising a total of 1,881,283 meals in the fight against hunger.

Launched in 2011, Arvest’s 1 Million Meals campaigns have raised a seven-year total of 11,485,468 meals, which includes more than $2 million in funds given directly to the bank’s dozens of local food partners.

This year’s campaign total of 1,881,283 meals was made possible through donations from the bank, Arvest associates, customers and community members through fundraisers, events and nonperishable food drives in all Arvest branches throughout April and May. With summer here, the success of the campaign is especially meaningful because many schoolchildren will be without the meals they ordinarily receive at school.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide – thanks to the hard work and generosity of our associates, customers and community members – these meals to our neighbors in need,” Rodney Shepard, president and chief executive officer of Arvest Bank Fort Smith and River Valley Region said. “We also hope 1 Million Meals has increased hunger awareness in our region and we remain committed to fighting hunger in our community long after this year’s initiative has ended. I am proud, and humbled, by our success.”

In Paris, Arkansas First Christian Church Open Door Feeding Program and Paris schools received the local donations, and this year $1950.00 in funds were raised and over 5,564 nonperishable food items, for a total of 15,314 meals raised in our community. A check was presented to First Christian Church Open Door Feeding Program on Thursday, June 22 at the Arvest Bank office in Paris.