Arvest Bank has just completed their third annual ‘1 Million Meals’ Campaign. The bank announced on Nov. 6, that they had exceeded the campaign goal and have raised a total of 1.8 million meals.

The meals were made through donations, fundraisers and food drives throughout the bank’s branches and other areas they hosted. All Arvest locations started the campaign on Sept.4, and held the event until Nov. 2, to help local food banks and hunger organizations during the holiday season

According to Angela Spradlin, Marketing Officer of Arvest Bank, The Southwest Oklahoma district received a total of 169,722 meal donations. These donations will go to the Lawton Food Bank, Duncan Christians Concerned, Chickasha Emergency Food Pantry and Walters Public Schools Food For Kids Program.

“We are thrilled that, through the efforts of our customers and associates, Arvest was able to provide meals to our neighbors in need,” Spradlin said. “We hope the increased awareness about hunger in Southwest Oklahoma will continue to help feed our neighbors long after we’ve completed this year’s campaign.

During the campaign Arvest enlisted the help of local schools to help eliminate hunger. A contest was held among the schools for a prize that would benefit them.

“All of the Lawton schools that participated received a monetary donation,” Spradlin said. “First place received $500, from there it went down from $400 to $300, then $200 and one hundred dollars. The schools that participated were guaranteed to receive fifty dollars.”

Spradlin stated that the surrounding areas operated their contest differently. Duncan’s contest was the school with the most donations would receive $250 to enhance the classrooms and equipment.

Arvest Bank branches also held fundraisers and contests of their own.

“One branch held a pumpkin decorating contest and people would vote on their favorite by donating money to the jar in front of the pumpkin,” Spradlin said. “Other branches held bake sales as well as the recent “Skip your lunch”, where we asked people to donate the money they would normally spend for lunch and donate it to support local food organizations.”

Spradlin also serves as a member of the Lawton Food Bank board committee and has been a member since January. She notes that this year has been extremely busy getting the Food Bank prepared and ready to move to their new location.

On Nov. 8 the Lawton Food Bank will hold their “Eat, Drink & Give Thanks” grand opening ceremony at their new location on 1819 SW Sheridan Road. There Spradlin will represent Arvest Bank when she presents a check of $24,000 to the Food Bank.

The grand opening ceremony will hold a raffle and everyone is encourage to bring food items to stock shelves for the holidays. The ribbon cutting ceremony will being at 3 p.m., where live music and free hot dogs will follow.