Arvest hosts meal packing party for their million meals initiative

Arvest hosts meal packing party for their million meals initiative

LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Arvest Bank held its ninth annual “feed the funnel” party for their million meals initiative, which helps stock local food banks.

Arvest employees use this event as a time for community service, and a time to work as a team outside the bank.

“It’s just a really fun time. I think we all have a lot of fun together doing something that’s for a greater good," said Arvest employee Gab Atwell.

Due to the initiative’s success last year, their new goal needed a new name.

“It used to be called one million meals, because the bank wide goal across all 4 states was to raise a million. Last year, we made it all the way to two million, so we dropped the one moniker and now it’s called million meals,” said Arvest Marketing agent Kyle Vrska.

A group called Pack the Party even came to Lawton to help with the initiative.

“We show up with all the dehydrated ingredients, then at the party, the meals are made through the funnel, weighed and sealed through the party process,” said Pack the Party’s Drake Newkirk.

Then they banged the gong, and the packing party was on.

Newkirk said it’s fun to provide a way to give back, while mixing in some fun, loud music to help keep morale high.

“After every party, even during the party, just seeing people come together, singing along to the songs all while they are packing thousands of meals that go to their local community is a really great feeling,” said Newkirk.

Atwell from the Chickasha branch says her favorite part of the packing party comes after the boxes are all taped up.

“We get to take some of the meals we pack back to Chickasha, and we volunteer there as well. So we actually get to hand the meals out to people in need that we packed here, which is really rewarding,” said Atwell.

And Vrska, who has done this for many years said his favorite moment happens right before it begins.

“It’s probably just the anticipation and getting it ready. As soon as Drake, or whoever is on the mic says go, it’s just a rush," said Vrska.

The Southwest Oklahoma branches, which include Lawton Duncan, Elgin and Walters are hoping to provide 70,000 meals in order to break the 2 million mark Arvest raised last year.

Vrska says 70,000 shouldn’t be tough, because they were close to 100 thousand last year.

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