Jennifer Hudson Supports Participants in Fourth Annual Lose For Good® Campaign
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Weight Watchers today announced that Weight Watchers members and online subscribers can once again participate in the Lose For Good campaign, an effort that helps to battle hunger and chronic malnutrition.
Lose For Good benefits Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger. As Weight Watchers members and online subscribers shed pounds and participate in other activities between August 28 and October 15, Weight Watchers will donate up to $1 million to these two leading hunger fighting organizations. Share Our Strength® works to end childhood hunger in the United States. Action Against Hunger battles hunger and chronic malnutrition around the globe.
Since Lose For Good launched in 2008, Weight Watchers members and online subscribers have lost an estimated total of 12 million pounds during the campaigns. Weight Watchers has donated approximately $3 million to the campaign's charitable partners, who have used the donations to support programs to provide children and families with better access to nutritious food.
"Many people don't think of hunger and obesity as two sides of the same coin, but lack of access to healthy food and obesity are closely linked," said David Kirchhoff, President and CEO, Weight Watchers International, Inc. "Weight Watchers is working with our members, subscribers and partners to change that through Lose For Good. I'm proud to offer our members and subscribers a way to make a difference, and even more thrilled to see the way they use their own weight loss efforts to help those in need."
Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Jennifer Hudson is supporting the campaign for a second year, encouraging people to live healthier lives and give back to those in need. Hudson will make media appearances, be featured in a digital ad spot and narrate a video highlighting the need to fight the double-edged problem of obesity and hunger. Hudson launched the video today at a news conference and panel discussion at the National Press Club.
"I'm so proud to be part of Lose For Good once again this year," said Hudson. "It's inspiring to see so many people losing weight and getting healthier through Weight Watchers, like I was able to do, and help fight hunger at the same time. It feels good to be part of a campaign that is improving so many lives," she added.
More than 17 million kids in the United States go hungry on a regular basis, according to United States Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (1). At the same time, childhood obesity is at an all-time high. One in five youngsters, aged 6 to 11 years is obese (2). The Lose For Good donation to partner Share Our Strength helps support programs in the United States to ensure children have access to nutritious meals. Over the past three years, the Lose For Good donations have supported nearly 100 strategic grants to key community partners in 39 states. These grants support the expansion of programs working to connect kids with the food they need to live, learn and thrive through efforts like increasing access to school breakfast, expanding the availability of summer meals and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.
"Children should never start the school day hungry, but many families in our country can't afford to feed their kids breakfast at home," said Billy Shore, Founder and Executive Director, Share Our Strength. "Working with our partners around the country, Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry® Campaign promotes innovative models for serving school breakfast – and ensuring eligible kids participate – so that students have a nutritious meal to provide energy and fuel for the school day. Our goal is for all eligible kids to get the breakfast they need to succeed academically."
The Lose For Good® campaign helps support children and families globally as well, through partnership with Action Against Hunger, whose mission is to end world hunger. In 2010, through Action Against Hunger, the Lose For Good donation helped provide timely, life-saving nutritional relief to more than 6,000 individuals in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose lives were threatened by deadly malnutrition.
"As an organization dedicated to fighting life-threatening malnutrition, we're honored to be a part of Lose For Good," said Nan Dale, Action Against Hunger's CEO. "Action Against Hunger helps some five million people each year, and Lose For Good has made invaluable contributions to our lifesaving work around the world. We're proud that this partnership helps people live longer, healthier lives, both here and abroad."
On a local level, Lose For Good enables Weight Watchers members to make a direct impact in their own communities, too, by holding local food drives in meeting rooms where members can donate food that can help provide families in their community access to nutritious meals. Since 2008, Weight Watchers members have donated more than 4.9 million pounds of food to area food pantries through Lose For Good.
Today's panel discussion at the National Press Club featured leading experts working to combat hunger and obesity. The panel featured:
- Ed Cooney – Executive Director, Congressional Hunger Center
- Geoffrey Glick – Director of External Relations, Action Against Hunger
- Rosemary King Johnston – Executive Director, Governor's Office for Children, Office of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley
- David Kirchhoff – President and CEO, Weight Watchers International
- Sean McElhaney – Principal, Old Mill Middle School North, Anne Arundel County, Maryland
- Robert Post – Deputy Director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Ellen Teller – Director of Government Affairs, Food Research and Action Center
- Josh Wachs – Chief Strategy Officer, Share Our Strength
"Weight Watchers is committed to end hunger, combat obesity and reduce preventable, weight-related chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease," said Kirchhoff. "We are glad to bring together individuals from some of the leading organizations committed to those same goals."
Learn more about the Lose For Good campaign and how you can participate at www.WeightWatchers.com/LoseForGood.
About Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over 45,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. WeightWatchers.com provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.
About Share Our Strength
Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry® Campaign - a national effort to end childhood hunger in America by 2015 - Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in effective federal nutrition programs; invests in community organizations fighting hunger; teaches families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and builds public-private partnerships to end hunger, nationally and at the state and city level. Working closely with the culinary industry and relying on the strength of its volunteers, Share Our Strength hosts innovative culinary fundraising events and develops pioneering cause marketing campaigns that support No Kid Hungry
About Action Against Hunger | ACF International
Action Against Hunger is an international humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger. Recognized as a leader in the fight against malnutrition, Action Against Hunger works to save the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger. With over 30 years of expertise in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity, Action Against Hunger runs life-saving programs in some 40 countries benefiting 5 million people each year.
(1) Household Food Security in the United States, 2008, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Economic Research Report Number 83, November 2009
(2) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services
SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.