For the last 19 years, the Today’s THV Summer Cereal Drive has been in full force, and Pine Bluff’s Wanda Bateman has been one of the key people behind it.


“This is a yearly fundraiser and awareness event that I am honored to have participated in,” Bateman said in a news release. “Each summer, Arkansas families have an increased need for food. More than 58 percent of Arkansas children enrolled in public schools are dependent upon free and reduced priced meals.


“When school is out, so is the program. Member organizations of the Arkansas Food Bank Network step in to fill the need. Our overall goal in 2019 is 500,000 boxes of cereal. In 2018, with your help, we raised 287,267 boxes of cereal throughout central Arkansas.”


Bateman further said in the news release that the drive “is a great contribution in our community, and I look forward to this event each year. Teams raise money and donate cereal throughout the state of Arkansas. The cereal is then distributed to those in need. Results from the past have been outstanding.


“Countless families have been served from this program, and we simply could not make it a success without the generous support of community members and area businesses like you. I have set a personal goal for this effort and need your help.


“Your sponsorship means a great deal to me and will go a long way to feed families through the cereal drive program. Any contributions will be greatly appreciated, you can truly make a difference. It all adds up!”


Bateman said in the release that “with a monetary donation, I am able to buy cereal for as low as .95 cents per box. I know that you recognize the importance of a healthy breakfast, and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Feel free to contact me for more information on the cereal drive and for setting up your donation.


“Thank you in advance for your time and participation. Every donation is distributed here in Jefferson County. Last year we collected 65,000 boxes of cereal. I can be reached at (870) 536-6000 or (870) 692-8667).”


Non-monetary donations should be limited to dry cereal boxes or bags of 8 ounces or more; cereal/breakfast bars or pop tarts; or cream of wheat, oatmeal and grits.


The deadline is June 27.