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.Okay, let's stop right there for a moment. Right off the bat, there's a serious problem with speaking about fatties and "Americans at risk of hunger" as if they're mutually exclusive groups. Some of the most at-risk adults and children in America for hunger and/or malnutrition are fat, because poverty and lack of access to healthy food go hand in hand—something I'm guessing may have crossed the minds of the makers of Hamburger Helper (and related Helper items), some of which are as much as 48% fat per serving and all of which have been designed to provide a low-cost meal for an entire family.
…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.
Hamburger Helper (nor Lucky Charms, nor Häagen-Dazs) isn't the sort of product that General Mills is promoting via their participation in the Pound for Pound Challenge, however.
In addition to pledging to lose weight, Americans can donate directly at www.PFPChallenge.com 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®, Cheerios®, Honey Nut Cheerios®, MultiGrain Cheerios®, Total®, Fiber One® (Cereal, Bars, Muffin Mix, Pancake Mix, and Yogurt), Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers(TM), Chex Mix® 100 Calorie, Warm Delights® Minis, Bisquick® Heart Health®, and Cascadian Farm® (Cereal and Bars).So the idea is that we should buy the specially-marked products (many of which happen to be weight-loss items—surprise!), and then spend a minimum of 42¢ sending them in so that GM can donate 10¢ to provide a pound of groceries, three pounds less than our first-class stamp would buy. Brilliant.
"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."And even easier by going to the grocery store and just buying some shit for your local food pantry! But, I will admit, that lacks the particular je ne sais quoi of making food donations contingent upon fatties' desire and ability to lose the poundage, a construction positively reeking with the implicit suggestion that their personal gluttony is somehow directly responsible for others' hunger.
…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.
Never mind if you're fat for some other reason besides wanton excess—like, say, having been living on mac n' cheese for a year just to sustain yourself and your kids, or because you can't afford your thyroid medication or that hip transplant you desperately need to stay active. And, as always, never mind if you're fat and healthy. Fuck your reality.
In America, there are unhealthy gluttonous fatties, period. And anyone above a size 8 or 32 waist obviously doesn't need a pound of groceries—they need to lose a pound and help some people who really need it. And stop being so
I've seen some cynical fucking ploys in my day, but this one really takes the motherfucking cake.
[H/T to Shaker Jessika.]