PITTSBURG — Arvest Bank is primed to give back to Pittsburg with its eighth annual initiative against hunger.

The organization launched the One Million Meals campaign Monday in an effort to raise money and collect non-perishable food donations. Set to continue until June 2, this bank-wide initiative will serve more than 120 communities.

All donations received at the Pittsburg branch will go to Pittsburg High School to provide meals to local, hungry families. The branch’s focus is to raise items that can be used for the students’ backpack program with items such as granola bars, fruit juice boxes, and snack packs.

Additionally, residents may contribute to the cause by dropping off nonperishable food items or making monetary donations at the 2313 South Rouse Ave. branch location. According to a release from Arvest, every dollar raised provides the equivalent of five meals for those in need.

“Kicking off our 1 Million Meals campaign is always an exciting time,” Community Market President Jared Turnbull said in a release. “Our associates look forward to joining the school, our customers and the community to fight hunger.”

The new branch location will celebrate its grand opening at 1 p.m. April 24 at 2313 South Rouse Ave.

“We are going to be doing a campaign there because we will have a lot of people at the celebration,” said Branch Sales Manager Lacie Cottrell. “Free hot dogs, free hamburgers, a chance to learn how many families this is going to help.”

Cottrell said she is excited to have the opportunity to donate to local schools, given her personal attachment to Pittsburg.

“I understand what it means to take the burden of having to provide something as basic as food off of kids and their parents,” she said. “To be a part of something that’s so life-changing for families is very rewarding.”

 — Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at bschmitz@morningsun.net.