Q&A with Claudia Noakes with Harvesters for 1 Million Meals

Friday, April 21 at 06:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Harvesters* has been serving people in Greater Kansas City for 38 years. We’re happy they’re joining us once again in our 1 Million Meals initiative to raise one million meals for the children, elderly and others in need across our footprint.  

We sat down with Claudia Noakes, a volunteer with Harvesters, to learn more about her and Harvesters. 

What’s your involvement with Harvesters, and how did you get started?
As a single mother in the 60s, I struggled to make ends meet. Many of the current support programs did not exist at that time, so it was a challenge that I have never forgotten. In the last several years, job travel precluded my participation in the volunteer activities for Harvesters, though I could donate to the cause.  

Then, in 2012 I retired and began to volunteer immediately, first in the VEC (Volunteer Engagement Center) sorting and packing food for distribution. I rapidly expanded my participation in many of the area events supporting food drives such as Stamp Out Hunger, Community Can and Check-Out Hunger. In order to be more active in community outreach, I became involved in Harvesters’ Ambassador program. This group of committed volunteers is not only regularly engaged in food drives, etc. but also represents Harvesters at events, advocacy opportunities and supporting special projects.  

What’s a compelling experience you’ve had during your time with Harvesters? 
The most rewarding effort for me personally was volunteering to help with the 2013 Hunger Study and meeting with the volunteers and recipients at the various agencies in our 26 county service area. At one visit early in the program, I observed a volunteer who was joyously working so hard to help those arriving at this pantry. 

As the day’s activities slowed, I had the chance to compliment her on her positive attitude and work ethic and to thank her for her service. That is when she shared that her family also receives assistance from the pantry. Her husband is wheelchair bound due to an injury and unable to work. With five children at home, they cannot survive without aid. With tears in her eyes, she explained it is her obligation to help those around her and to repay in some small way for what she receives. 

Similar stories were repeated at the several agencies I visited. It certainly is a motivating factor to work that much harder to serve those in need.

How can people get involved with Harvesters? 
Oh, it is so easy!! Whether you want to contribute one time or on a regular basis, there is a suitable activity match for individuals as well as families and groups. Just visit Harvesters.org* and click on the give time button. Volunteering at Harvesters is both fun and rewarding, and we look forward to seeing you.

We’d love to have you involved in our 1 Million Meals initiative to help Harvesters* and our other food partners.  

Four Easy Ways to Donate:
  • Donate via Phone – Customers can make a $1 (or more) donation by calling (866) 952-9523. Funds will be drawn directly from your Arvest account.
  • Donate via Mail – Mail a check to Arvest Bank Operations, ATTN: 1MM, P.O. Box 799, Lowell, AR 72745. Include 1 Million Meals in the memo line of the check.
  • Donate in a Branch – Stop by your local Arvest Bank branch. Cash and check contributions accepted.
  • Donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ – Customers can redeem points for a 1 Million Meals donation. Log in at arvestflexrewards.com, and click on the banner for 1 Million Meals to get started!
We’ll Donate $1 Each Time You:
  • Follow us on Instagram.
  • Like or share our 1 Million Meals Facebook posts.
  • Retweet our 1 Million Meals tweets on Twitter on April 21 and May 10.

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

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Kansas City
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