Monday, January 05, 2009

General Mills, NBC's The Biggest Loser and Feeding America Partner to Launch Pound For Pound Challenge

/PRNewswire/ -- General Mills, NBC's The Biggest Loser and Feeding America today announced they are partnering to launch the Pound For Pound Challenge, an initiative that encourages Americans to lose weight and feed the hungry. For every pound dieters pledge to lose this new year, a pound of groceries will be delivered to a local food bank.

"More and more people need help getting food on the table in these troubling economic times, but the Pound For Pound Challenge is helping to meet the demand for donations in a big way," said Vicki B. Escarra, president and CEO, Feeding America. "By providing more food resources for Americans, individuals and families can spend their money on other equally important basic necessities like rent or mortgage, utilities and transportation."

While 130 million people are overweight in the United States, 35 million Americans are at risk of hunger. The new Pound For Pound Challenge gives Americans the opportunity to fight the hunger crisis and help families in their neighborhoods by simply pledging to lose weight and get healthy. People can simply visit www.PFPChallenge.com or www.biggestloser.com and enter their weight loss goals to join the Challenge.

"General Mills has a long-standing commitment to nutrition and wellness, and we're thrilled to support a cause that will not only provide hunger relief but also encourage Americans to get healthier," said John Haugen, vice president, Health and Wellness at General Mills. "By joining the Challenge, Americans are helping themselves while helping the one in eight Americans who struggle with hunger."

In addition to pledging to lose weight, Americans can donate directly at www.PFPChallenge.com and look for Pound For Pound lids and seals on specially-marked General Mills products. For each lid or seal mailed in, General Mills will donate 10 cents, enough to provide a pound of groceries, to Feeding America. General Mills brands carrying the lid or seal include Yoplait Light(R), Cheerios(R), Honey Nut Cheerios(R), MultiGrain Cheerios(R), Total(R), Fiber One(R) (Cereal, Bars, Muffin Mix, Pancake Mix, and Yogurt), Green Giant(R) Valley Fresh Steamers(TM), Chex Mix(R) 100 Calorie, Warm Delights(R) Minis, Bisquick(R) Heart Health(R), and Cascadian Farm(R) (Cereal and Bars).

Lids and seals will appear on select products for a limited time only, but shoppers have until December 31, 2009 to mail them. Between the donations for weight loss pledges and product lids and seals, General Mills hopes to contribute up to $775,000 to Feeding America during the Pound For Pound Challenge.

The Pound For Pound Challenge will make its national debut on January 6 during the season seven premiere of NBC's The Biggest Loser (8 p.m. EST), encouraging Americans to lose weight, improve themselves, and ultimately lead a healthier lifestyle.

"The Biggest Loser seeks to inspire people to make healthier lifestyle choices and now through the Pound For Pound Challenge, we're committed to tackling the serious hunger epidemic in the United States. By signing up Americans will not only be making a pledge to get healthy for themselves, but they will be providing food and, more importantly, hope for others," said Mark Koops, Managing Director of Reveille, the production company behind NBC's The Biggest Loser.

The Biggest Loser has become an established primetime hit for NBC. Since its debut in 2004, The Biggest Loser has grown to become a lifestyle brand, anchored by The Biggest Loser Club (www.biggestloserclub.com) as well as The Biggest Loser Meal Plan, and New York Times best-selling books, cookbooks and DVDs. The show provides the perfect platform to raise awareness of this important problem and inspire action. The Challenge will be actively integrated into the show, and viewers will get updates on the Pound For Pound Challenge throughout the entire season.

"Our show inspires so many people to commit to a healthier lifestyle, and we're excited that motivation will help secure millions of pounds of groceries for local food banks," said Bob Harper, trainer, NBC's The Biggest Loser. "Starting January 6, viewers will watch as the show's contestants also commit to their own health, and throughout the season viewers will learn how their own weight loss efforts are helping provide millions of pounds of groceries for others."

Food banks across the nation are facing unprecedented demand for food, and help is needed to keep this crisis from worsening. Becoming a part of the hunger crisis solution, however, is easy to do with the Pound For Pound Challenge.

To join the Challenge or contribute directly to Feeding America, visit www.PFPChallenge.com or www.biggestloser.com.

The Pound For Pound Challenge is a large-scale cause marketing program amplified by its partnership with NBC's The Biggest Loser. It is arguably one of television's largest advertiser-funded charitable integrations to date and was conceived by Reveille and General Mills.

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