Arvest Million Meals & Bridge Bash Success


                         Yellville-Summit School District Raises Over $4,000 for 1 Million Meals Campaign



                                                   Spare change drive proves that “Panthers Change Lives”

 YELLVILLE, Ark., (October 1, 2013)—In early September, Arvest Bank announced the beginning of the 1 Million Meals initiative that challenges the community to participate in fundraising efforts and nonperishable food drives to fight hunger in the more than 120 communities the bank serves. As part of the 1 Million Meals campaign in North Central Arkansas, Arvest partnered with the Yellville-Summit School District and students held a spare change drive from September 23 - 27. In just one week, $4,044.55 was collected for the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas. The money will be used specifically for the Yellville-Summit Food for Thought backpack program.

“I am so proud of our students and the difference they were able to make for the community in just one week. They have raised over $4,000 which will go a long way in providing food for our Backpack Program,” said Larry Ivens, Yellville-Summit School District superintendent. “Small things can truly add up to make a big difference, and this campaign and change drive are clear examples of that.”

 In the spare change drive, “Panthers Change Lives”, the first grade, tenth grade, and twelfth grade classes were the top fundraisers. The twelfth grade class raised over $450.00 in spare change, and the first and tenth grade classes each raised over $500.00. 

 The school ended their campaign on September 27, but Arvest’s 1 Million Meals campaign continues through November 2. The timing of the initiative is critical as 50 million Americans lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis, and 17 million of those are children.1  Community members wishing to help can make donations at the Arvest branch at 105 North Panther Drive. For more information about 1 Million Meals, visit

 About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank operates more than 260 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a network of 16 locally managed banks, each with its own advisory board of directors and management team.  These locations service customers in more than 120 communities with 12-hour weekday banking at most locations.  Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, asset and wealth management, life insurance, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing.  Arvest is an equal housing lender and member FDIC.

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 1. SOURCE:  Feeding America Map the Meal Gap: A Report on County and Congressional District Level Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2011.  Published in 2013 and available here:



September 22, 2013


Cotter, AR

          Big Spring Park, Cotter Arkansas played host to the largest Bridge Bash on record for the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas. An estimated 1,500 people were present to Stand Up for Hope during the Bridge Ceremony, including Senator Johnny Key, Representative Karen Hopper, Representative Kelley Linck, Baxter County officials, Sheriff John Montgomery, and Judge Mickey Pendergrass, and Cotter officials, Mayor Peggy Hammock and Councilman John Adams.

            More than 4,500 attended the festival in the park. Festival goers enjoyed a wide variety of music, including an evening concert from Steel Magnolia.

            Food Bank Development Director, Katie Shay, reported that “this year’s event exceeded our goals by providing 377,696 meals to north central Arkansas. This brings the event’s three year total to over 1,000,000 meals!”

            There were several new features to this year’s Bridge Bash, including a hands-on opportunity to package 40,000 meals. Some 150 volunteers partnered to accomplish this project in just four hours during the afternoon. Boy Scout Troop 156 of Mtn. Home, along with representatives from Arvest Bank, and Mtn. Home High School Key Club were among those present to take part in the packaging project.

            Also new to Bridge Bash was a grant opportunity for Food Bank of North Central Arkansas agencies. Executive Director, Jeff Quick shared the recipients of this year’s grants, “Lead Hill Back Pack Program, Zion’s Light Baptist Church Food Pantry, and the Norfork Youth Center will each receive a $1,000 Food Bank grant.” The three recipients will use their funds to provide health and beauty products to their clients, purchase a generator for their pantry, and provide study materials for student after school programs.

            Bridge Bash included over seventy participants in the Classic Car Show, some fifty vendors, a second annual Dog Show, and a benefit auction raising more than $3,700. Quick shared his gratitude for everyone involved in making this year’s event a success, “On behalf of the Food Bank, thank you to the Twin Lakes Area and all of north central Arkansas. We had approximately 250 volunteers who worked to plan and implement Bridge Bash 2013. I can’t say enough for the leadership of our Bridge Bash Task Force, and the volunteers that worked countless hours preparing for and carrying out yesterday’s event.”

            How will the meals provided at yesterday’s event be distributed? Quick shared that the proceeds of Bridge Bash will be shared between the Food Bank and its agencies who participated in the day. He also explained “While the Food Bank and our agencies will actually use the proceeds throughout the coming year, 375,000 meals is approximately the number of meals that will be distributed during their upcoming Thanksgiving distribution.”

            Food insecurity continues to be a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of an overwhelming portion of the population of our region. Food Bank of North East Arkansas  Executive Director, Christie Jordan who was on hand for the event reported that “The Food Banks of North East and North Central Arkansas will distribute over five million pounds of food collectively during 2013, and that our partnership with one another allows the two Food Banks to meet the growing need across northern Arkansas.”

            To learn more about Bridge Bash, The Food Bank of North Central Arkansas and hunger relief in your area, visit or contact the Food Bank at 870-499-7565.





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