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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Cyndi Gregory, Corporate Development Director of the Arkansas Rice Depot, was presented a $4,603.25 check by Arvest representatives Wednesday, November 20.

Arvest Exceeds 1 Million Meals Campaign Goal

Makes Donation to Arkansas Rice Depot


Two months ago, Arvest Bank launched its annual 1 Million Meals initiative to fight hunger in the 120 communities it serves.  With the help of customers and communities, the bank announced that it exceeded the campaign goal by raising a total of 1.8 million meals in the fight against hunger.

The campaign total of 1.8 million meals was made possible with donations from the bank, Arvest associates, customers and local residents through fundraisers, events and nonperishable food drives in all Arvest branches from Sept. 4 through Nov. 2. The success of the campaign comes just in time to help local food banks and hunger organizations meet their increased needs during the holiday season.

“We are thrilled that, through the efforts of our customers and associates, Arvest was able to provide meals to our neighbors in need,” said Craig Rivaldo, Arvest Bank president and CEO of the Fort Smith/River Valley region. “We hope the increased awareness about hunger in Fort Smith and the River Valley will continue to help feed our neighbors long after we’ve completed this year’s campaign. One Million Meals is a great example of the impact that can be made when many people come together.”

In the Fort Smith/River Valley area Arvest partnered with the Community Services Clearinghouse’s Meals for Kids backpack program and the Arkansas Rice Depot’s Food for Kids backpack program for the campaign. These organizations received all local donations, and this year 160,020 total meals were provided in the Fort Smith/River Valley.

All money and nonperishable food items raised through this campaign directly benefitted 53 different organizations feeding local communities in four states – Arkansas, Kansas Missouri and Oklahoma.

The bank decided to provide one million meals because hunger is an issue in every community it serves. In 2012, one in six American households reported food hardship, or not having adequate funds to provide enough food for their family.

For more information about 1 Million Meals, visit

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