“Biggest Loser” encourages weight loss and feeds local communities

“Biggest Loser” encourages weight loss and feeds local communities

January 4, 2011

Season 11, Pound for Pound Challenge premieres tonight

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— “The Biggest Loser” fans can help feed Ozarkers in need this year by participating in the show’s Pound for Pound Challenge, a program that encourages residents in Missouri and people across the country to lose weight nationally to help provide hunger relief locally.

The Pound for Pound Challenge, which grew out of the success of “The Biggest Loser,” is back for its third year. For every pound individuals pledge to lose now through May 31, 2011, 11 cents will be donated to Feeding America®, which distributes the money directly to member food banks — including Ozarks Food Harvest — based on ZIP codes. Last year, nearly $5,000 was raised for Ozarks Food Harvest through the Pound for Pound Challenge, up $3,000 from the first year.

Those wishing to pledge their weight loss goals online can log on at Each pound pledged equals one pound of food purchased for hungry southwest Missouri families. Those already at a healthy weight range can participate by pledging to maintain, up to a donation of five pounds of food.

“Missouri recently ranked seventh in the nation for overall food insecurity, meaning far too many of our Ozarks neighbors have an uncertain availability of food, but yet Missouri is the 12th most obese state in the nation,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO at Ozarks Food Harvest. “‘How can someone who is hungry be overweight?’ People who don’t have a consistent source of healthy food often binge when it becomes available, which is especially true for children of low income families. And, children living in poverty many times only have access to fat- and calorie-laden foods rather than nutritious meals and snacks. Some people, unfortunately, genuinely lack the knowledge and information necessary to make healthy food choices.”

Season 11 of “The Biggest Loser” premieres tonight at 7 p.m. on NBC. The 2010 Pound For Pound Challenge final total pound count was 6,203,347 — an increase of more than 70 percent from 2009. Participants can share their stories at

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About Ozarks Food Harvest—The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the only food bank in southwest Missouri, serving more than 300 hunger relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank reaches more than 14,000 individuals weekly and distributes nine million pounds of food annually. Learn more at and at