Funds Raised to Feed More Than 96,000 Children in Baxter County, Ark.

Wednesday, May 11 at 05:45 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

"Feed the Pack" fundraiser in North Central Arkansas exceeded its goal for the backpack program.

YELLVILLE, Ark. – The community effort known as “Feed the Pack,” created and led by Arvest Bank, almost doubled its goal and collected $19,266.11 – plus 454 nonperishable food items – for organizations across Baxter County that operate a backpack program to send food home with hungry children on weekends and holidays. Every dollar provides five meals, so the money raised will provide 96,330 meals for the more than 600 children who benefit from the backpack programs. The goal of the one-day donation blitz was to collect $10,000.  

Volunteers were stationed at major intersections and storefronts in Mountain Home and Gassville to collect donations from the community. Local businesses pledged donations that were announced on KTLO radio throughout the day.  

“On behalf of the hundreds of children who will receive many meals because of the generosity of the people and businesses of Mountain Home, we say 'thank you,'” said Sally Gilbert, market president for Arvest Bank in Mountain Home. “So many people gave of themselves and helped fill a void in the lives of children and families; this response was tremendous.”  

In Baxter County, more than 17 percent of the population faces food hardship, according to the Feeding America 2015 report “Map the Meal Gap.” Among those in Baxter County considered to be facing food insecurity, almost 7,500 of individuals are children younger than the age of 18. Almost one-fifth of those children, 18 percent, would likely not qualify for federal assistance, based on income, according to the Feeding America report. Even children who receive federal support from school meal programs experience food insecurity on weekends and holidays. That’s where the Backpack Program of the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas provides local support, feeding more than 600 children who, otherwise, would go without food during those times. 

The Feed the Pack initiative was held in conjunction with Arvest Bank’s 6th annual 1 Million Meals campaign, a two month food and funds drive that collects nonperishable food and monetary donations for local food partners to help reduce hunger in the 270 communities Arvest serves across a four-state area. Communities may donate nonperishable food or cash donations at any Arvest Bank location through May 28.  All donations benefit local food partners. 

Tags: Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, North Central Arkansas
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