Challenge encourages weight loss while fighting hunger - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Challenge encourages weight loss while fighting hunger

WATERLOO (KWWL)-- Each week, contestants on NBC's "Biggest Loser" battle it out to see who can lose the most weight.  And for the past few years, the hit show has teamed up with Feeding America to challenge you to shed unwanted pounds.  This year, two food banks in eastern Iowa are taking part in the challenge.  And by participating, you can get fit while helping to fight hunger.

Boxes and cans of food line the warehouse at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo.  There's a good supply, but it can always be increased to help more families in need of food.

"In the state of Iowa, the food insecurity rate--and the food insecurity rate is not having access to an adequate supply of food-- is about 11.8 percent.  That's about 1 in 8 people in Iowa who don't know how they're going to feed their family or don't know where their next food resource is going to be to feed their family," said Barb Prather, executive director of the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.

To help raise awareness about the need, food banks across the country are partnering with the "Biggest Loser" for the "Pound for Pound Challenge."  If you've got a few pounds you'd like to drop, you can make it official with an online pledge to get fit.  For every pound you successful lose during the challenge, "Pound for Pound's" sponsors will donate 11 cents to your local food bank.  It might not seem like much.  But that spare change goes a long way.  For just one dollar, the food bank can purchase more than a hundred pounds of food.

"It helps us continue to bring in food and distribute it out through northeast Iowa.  Annually, we're distributing 5.6 million pounds of food.  And it costs money to do that.  So these donations go back into our programs to help us bring in food and distribute it out through our network of agencies," Prather said.

At the end of the "Pound for Pound Challenge," you might just be in better shape.  And the money raised will help the NEIFB's warehouse stay fully stocked, so it can keep filling the nutritional needs of the hungry.

The "Pound for Pound Challenge" runs through the end of May.  You can participate alone or with a team.  More information is available here.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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