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Contributed photo

Representatives from Arvest Bank in Harrison present a check to Ozark Share & Care following the bank’s ninth annual Million Meals campaign to reduce food insecurity. Seen here are (from left) Mark Feldman, board member, Arvest Bank; Haley O'Brien, Arvest Bank; Scott Tennyson, Arvest Bank; Missy Sims, Arvest Bank; Jane Christenson, board member, Arvest Bank; Van Younes, board member, Arvest Bank; Amanda Woodworth, Arvest Bank; Larry Phillips, Arvest Bank; Joy Prater, executive director, Ozark Share and Care; Julia Eaves, Arvest Bank; Lucia Krone, board member, Ozark Share and Care; Rick Carter, Ozark Share and Care; Johnny Simon, Ozark Share and Care.

Arvest Bank recently announced it exceeded its goal of raising money for hungry people through its Million Meals initiative.

Arvest launched the program in 2011 across the four-state area it serves. Over that time, the bank, with help from customers and community members, has raised $2.8 million given directly to the bank’s dozens of local food partners, a press release said.

In Harrison, Arvest partnered with Ozark Share & Care for the campaign. The organization received all food and monetary donations that were made locally, and this year more than 37,000 meals were provided in Harrison.

“We continue to be humbled by the success of this campaign and the generosity of our community,” said Scott Tennyson, market president of Arvest Bank in Harrison. “The good work we are able to do together will impact the lives of so many people right here in Harrison for months to come and, for that, we are grateful to everyone who participated in this campaign in any way.”

The bank raises money through fundraisers, events and nonperishable food drives in all Arvest branches throughout April and May. All money and food items raised through this campaign directly benefitted 70-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 2017, 11.8% 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 resources.

“With summer here, the success of the campaign is especially meaningful because many school children will be without the meals they ordinarily receive at school, the release said.

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