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

Initiative encourages Americans to lose weight, feed the hungry

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 5 /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 or 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 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 ( 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 or

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.

About General Mills

One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in over 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., General Mills had FY2008 global net sales of US$ 14.9 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 largest domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks operate 63,000 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 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 (Days of our Lives), 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.

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,, The Biggest Loser Meal Plan, The New York Times best-selling books series, best-selling fitness DVD series, a line of appliances, fitness equipment, protein supplements and countless other health and lifestyle based products, The Biggest Loser consumer products program has generated over $50 million in spending with presence at more than 25,000 major retailers to date. Check out" target="_new"> for more information.

About Reveille

Reveille is a leading independent television studio with a major presence in scripted and unscripted television and digital entertainment, and a world leader in creating integrated marketing opportunities for advertisers. Reveille's scripted entertainment programming includes "The Office" and "Kath and Kim" (NBC), "Ugly Betty" (ABC) and "The Tudors" (Showtime). The company's roster of highly successful reality programming includes "The Biggest Loser", "American Gladiators", and "Nashville Star" (NBC), "30 Days" (FX), "Parental Control" (MTV) and many more. Through its distribution arm, ShineReveille International, Reveille distributes its extensive library of high-quality programming, along with a broad array of programming acquired from independent producers and U.S. networks, to more than 150 countries.

    For more information, contact: 

    Kristen Roskowski, GolinHarris

SOURCE General Mills
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