ECKAN – Our Partner in Fighting Hunger

Friday, September 19 at 05:20 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

In 1966, East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN) was formed to address the causes and conditions of poverty at an individualized community level. The organization stemmed from legislation passed through President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty efforts. ECKAN is headquartered in Ottawa, Kan., and employs 100 staff across nine counties in east central Kansas. Last year ECKAN had more than 6,000 volunteer hours donated to the agency.

ECKAN’s* mission is, “To identify and focus available resources that enable eligible families and individuals to attain critical skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.” Its core programs help families overcome poverty and the need for public assistance. ECKAN is unique in its ability to tailor programs specifically to the communities it serves, in addition to offering well-known assistance programs such as Head Start, Weatherization, and the HUD Section 8 program.

ECKAN’s Community Centers also provide emergency food assistance to families living in those nine counties and distributed over 9,000 units of emergency food assistance last year. In Franklin County alone, weekly food distributions serve 90-100 individuals. The agency also provides a Summer Lunch Bunch program in an effort to alleviate food insecurity among children ages 1 – 18 during the summer months when school breakfast and lunch programs are not an option.

All these programs meet a critical need linked to the food insecurity rates as identified by Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap (2012) in ECKAN’s service counties. Two of these counties have food insecurity rates higher than that of the state as a whole (14.8 percent).

Those interested in volunteering may do so at many of ECKAN’s locations. A variety of opportunities exist, such as working at community centers assisting with food distributions and volunteering in Head Start classrooms. Individuals interested in volunteering should contact ECKAN’s central office at (785) 242-7450 and ask for Jake to learn more about current opportunities.

To learn more about 1 Million Meals, visit arvest.com/millionmeals.

You can make a donation through any of the following methods:

  • Donate via Phone – Customers can make a $1 (or more) donation by calling (866) 952-9523.
  • Donate via Mail – Mail a check to Arvest Bank Operations, ATTN: 1MM, PO Box 799, Lowell, AR 72745. Include 1 Million Meals in the memo line of the check.
  • Purchase a Paper Can – Purchase a 1 Million Meals paper can for $1 at any Arvest Bank branch. Each paper can purchased funds five meals. Donations of larger amounts also accepted.
  • Drop Off Food Items – All Arvest Bank branch locations will be accepting nonperishable food items. Donated items will be delivered to local food partners for distribution.

Arvest will donate on your behalf if you:

  • “Like” or "Share" a 1 Million Meals post on Arvest’s Facebook page.* Arvest will donate $1 on your behalf for every Facebook "like" or "share," resulting in five more meals toward the overall goal of one million meals.
  • "Follow" Arvest on Pinterest. If you follow Arvest Bank on Pinterest,* then Arvest will donate $1, which equals five meals, on your behalf.
  • "Retweet" our 1 Million Meals tweets from @ArvestBank* on designated promotion days – Sept. 19 and Oct. 10. For every retweet on those days, we’ll donate $1, or five meals, to your neighbors in need.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Cash Management, Charitable Giving, Kansas City
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