NBC's"The Biggest Loser: Couples," General Mills, SUBWAY® and Feeding America are partnering on the Pound For Pound Challenge, a national initiative encouraging Americans to lose weight to combat hunger in their local communities. The weight participants pledge to lose will help Feeding America secure groceries on behalf of local food banks. Pound For Pound Challenge updates will air throughout season 11 of NBC's"The Biggest Loser: Couples," which premiered yesterday at 8 p.m. ET.
In its third year, the Pound For Pound Challenge re-emerges at a crucial time. According to recent statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture, roughly 50 million people in the United States struggled with hunger at some point in 2009.
"Hunger continues to be a daily struggle for millions of families across America," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO, Feeding America."By simply participating in the Pound For Pound Challenge, Americans can support our network of more than 200 food banks by helping us secure much needed groceries."
New this year, participants can enter the Challenge by pledging to maintain their current weight for a contribution equal to five pounds of weight loss. Additionally, this year marks the introduction of a team option on www.pfpchallenge.com. In the spirit of NBC's"The Biggest Loser: Couples," teams can compete online and will be ranked nationally.
The Pound For Pound Challenge hopes to help Feeding America secure up to 9.4 million pounds of groceries on behalf of local food banks. For every pound Americans pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 11 cents to Feeding America, up to a maximum donation of $1,040,000. Eleven cents is enough to secure one pound of groceries on behalf of a local food bank.
"As one of the largest food companies in the world, General Mills recognizes our responsibility to give back," said John Haugen, vice president, Health and Wellness at General Mills."We've helped Feeding America deliver more than 9.7 million pounds of groceries to its local food banks through the Pound For Pound Challenge over the past two years, and we are pleased to continue the program to help in the fight against hunger."
General Mills offers a number of healthy food options to help keep dieters on track, including; Yoplait Light, Yoplait Greek, Yoplait Frozen Smoothie, Fiber One Original Cereal, Fiber One 90 Calorie Bar, MultiGrain Cheerios, Progresso Soup and L�rabar.
"The Pound For Pound Challenge gives Americans an extra incentive to get in shape and make healthy changes to their lives," said Alison Sweeney, host of NBC's"The Biggest Loser: Couples.""I love this program because it inspires people to fight the hunger crisis by improving their own health."
Each person who pledges will be matched with a local Feeding America food bank nearest to their residence. To ignite friendly competition, the pounds pledged by individual cities and states will be tracked and ranked at www.pfpchallenge.com.
"As we enter season 11, NBC's 'The Biggest Loser: Couples' is more passionate than ever to not only help Americans develop a healthy relationship with food, but also to call attention to the number of Americans who go without food," said Chad Bennett, Vice President of Reveille, the production company behind NBC's"The Biggest Loser: Couples."
"Whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner, SUBWAY® is a brand that supports consumers' desire to be healthy and active. The Pound For Pound Challenge is a natural strategic fit with our approach and it benefits both consumers and their communities," said Tony Pace, Chief Marketing Officer of the SUBWAY® Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust.
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, H�agen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company's $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.