Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Lifestyles

November 12, 2008

Losing to give

Local Weight Watchers meetings donating food pound per pound what they lost

RUSSELL — Pounds of weight lost have meant pounds of giving to several Weight Watchers meetings in the Tri-State, and pounds of food donated to Community Kitchen.

Weight Watchers Internationally recently sponsored a campaign called Lose for Good; the organization vowed that for each pound lost by attendees during a six-week period, it would donate a dollar to feed the hungry. In the end, Share Our Strength, which fights childhood hunger, received $700,000 and Action Against Hunger, which helps feed those in emergency or disaster situations, received $300,000 from Weight Watchers International.

It was the first such drive by Weight Watchers International, and local group leader Pearl Coleman liked the idea.

“Weight Watchers International donated $1 million to feed the hungry and what I decided we should do locally was we should donate nonperishable food to feed the hungry,” Coleman said.

Beginning Sept. 1 and ending Oct. 18, members of the 12 meetings led by Coleman in Huntington and Russell donated a pound of food for every pound he or she lost. The attempt resulted in more than 3,000 pounds of food collected for Community Kitchen.

“It was so emotional, I’ve cried a lot about it,” Coleman said. “We exceeded anything that we anticipated.”

It took two minivan loads and two carloads to deliver the donations.

In addition to the pound-per-pound donations, she said some of those who attend meetings who had already met their goals donated; there was a $160 cash donation and a member who began volunteering at Community Kitchen.

Robin Williams’ husband died in the spring, creating a void in her life. Time volunteering at Community Kitchen is helping to fill it.

“I wanted to give back to the community,” the 50-year-old Summit resident said, adding before the Weight Watchers project, she knew very little about Community Kitchen but soon decided it was a worthy organization to which to volunteer her time.

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