Thursday, April 17, 2014

Campaign banks One Million Meals and more

By The Herald Staff | 11/8/2013

The monetary and meal donations came just in time for the holidays — a busy season at East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp.

With its One Million Meals campaign at a close, Arvest Bank, 119 E. Third St., Ottawa, was able to donate $1,500 and 278 non-perishable food items — which comes to 8,195 meals — to ECKAN-related agencies, according to a press release from Arvest Bank.

The monetary and meal donations came just in time for the holidays — a busy season at East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp.

With its One Million Meals campaign at a close, Arvest Bank, 119 E. Third St., Ottawa, was able to donate $1,500 and 278 non-perishable food items — which comes to 8,195 meals — to ECKAN-related agencies, according to a press release from Arvest Bank.

“Arvest has separate bank entities and the Ottawa branch is a part of greater Kansas City,” Ed York, market president at Arvest, said previously. “[The Kansas City branches] are working with Harvesters and I said ‘I like Harvesters and they directly work with COF and [the Ottawa branch] would like to do an initiative with a local group rather than a Kansas City group.’ They said, ‘Sure.’ So our branch in Ottawa worked directly to raise meals for people here in Franklin County to be a bit more local.”

It was the second year Arvest teamed up with ECKAN to provide donations received throughout the campaign, York said.

“Through the efforts of our customers and associates, Arvest was thrilled to be able to provide meals to our neighbors in need,” York said in a press release. “We hope the increased awareness about hunger in the Ottawa community and Franklin County 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.”

Nearly 3,500 people in Franklin County are food insecure, and almost half of those are children, and Ottawa-based ECKAN helps to supply families in need in Franklin County with food, Richard Jackson, chief executive officer at ECKAN, said.

“We are so excited that the One Million Meals initiative was a success and will benefit so many people in need of food in our area,” Jackson said.

All money and nonperishable food items raised through the campaign directly benefitted 53 different organizations feeding local communities in four states — Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, according to the press release.

The campaign ran from Sept. 4 to Nov. 2 throughout all Arvest Bank locations. Overall, Arvest Bank exceeded their one million meals goal to reach 1.8 million meals donated to organizations throughout the four states, the press release said.

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