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Pound For Pound Challenge inspired Americans to lose weight for a cause


Will help Feeding America secure more than 3 million pounds of groceries for food banks

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Americans are helping the hunger crisis with the Pound For Pound Challenge.

As announced on last night’s season 11 finale of “The Biggest Loser: Couples,” participants pledged to lose more than 3.1 million pounds of weight, which will enable Feeding America to secure 3.1 million pounds of groceries for local food banks. NBC’s “The Biggest Loser: Couples,” General Mills and SUBWAY® Restaurants partnered on the Pound For Pound Challenge to offer Americans a simple way to help combat hunger in their local communities while spreading awareness of the national hunger crisis.

“Hunger is a daily reality for many Americans – it is not limited to urban areas, rural areas or any given region of the country,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “The donation from the Pound For Pound Challenge will aid our network of more than 200 food banks, which help those battling food insecurity every day.”

This marked the third year of the Pound For Pound Challenge. Collectively the program’s sponsors have helped Feeding America secure more than 12.8 million pounds of groceries for its local food banks through the Pound For Pound Challenge over the past three years.

“The Pound For Pound Challenge is a special program; participants stand to benefit by pledging to start leading healthy lifestyles while helping in the fight against hunger,” said Alison Sweeney, host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser: Couples.” “The commitment of those who pledged to lose 3.1 million pounds of weight with the program is truly inspiring.”

For every pound pledged at from January 5 to May 31, 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 for Feeding America to secure one pound of groceries on behalf of a local food bank.

Participants’ pledges made a local impact as each person was matched with the Feeding America food bank nearest to his or her residence. This year food banks in Gassaway, W. Va., Bethel Heights, Ark., South Barre, Vt., Gray, Tenn. and Duquesne, Pa. received the greatest amount of pledges with more than 5,600 pounds each.

“As a food company, the hunger crisis is one we’re deeply dedicated to serving, and we’re extremely proud of the Pound For Pound Challenge,” said John Haugen, vice president, Health and Wellness at General Mills. “It’s a chance to educate Americans about two important issues in our country: obesity and hunger.”

“SUBWAY has been synonymous for weight loss since Jared Fogle lost 245 pounds by eating SUBWAY sandwiches and walking,” said Tony Pace, Chief Marketing Officer of the SUBWAY® Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust. “We’re glad to get behind weight loss challenges like the Pound For Pound Challenge because supporting folks eating better is a big part of who we are.”

About General Mills
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, Häagen-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.

About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit

About The Biggest Loser
The Biggest Loser airs on NBC, Tuesdays at 8/7c). The first reality series where everybody “loses,” The Biggest Loser challenges and encourages overweight contestants to shed pounds in a safe and recommended manner through comprehensive diet and exercise as they compete for a grand prize of $250,000. Hosted by Alison Sweeney, the series provides the contestants with challenges, temptations, weigh-ins and eliminations until the final contestant remains to claim the title of “The Biggest Loser.” Each team works out under the supervision of professional trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. The Biggest Loser is a production of Reveille LLC, 25/7 Productions and 3 Ball Productions.

Beyond the U.S. where more than 100 episodes of the show have aired, The Biggest Loser has become a worldwide hit appearing in over 90 countries and produced in 28 countries. Since its debut in 2004, The Biggest Loser has grown to become a standalone health and lifestyle brand by developing tools and products inspired by the show and approved by its doctors and experts. Anchored by the online, subscription-based extension of the show,, from Rodale, The Biggest Loser consumer products program has generated over $100 million in spending, with presence at more than 25,000 major retailers to date. The program currently features a wide variety of health and fitness products including The Biggest Loser video game for Wii and Nintendo DS & DSi, The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge, which is a full-service, destination health & fitness spa, The Biggest Loser Meal Plan, a New York Times best-selling books series, a best-selling fitness DVD series, a line of appliances, fitness equipment, protein supplements and several other health and lifestyle based products. The Biggest Loser was recognized as a top brand of the year in Advertising Age’s 2008 Marketing 50. Check out for more information.

About SUBWAY® Restaurants
The SUBWAY® restaurant chain is the world’s largest submarine sandwich franchise, with more than 33,000 locations in 91 countries. Headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, and with regional offices in Amsterdam, Beirut, Brisbane, Miami, and Singapore, the SUBWAY® chain was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. The SUBWAY® brand was ranked the number one global franchise opportunity in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2010 “Annual Franchise 500” listing for the 17th time in 23 years. For more information about the SUBWAY® chain, visit


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