Losing weight to raise food donations in Kentuckiana

LOUSVILLE, KY (WAVE)- In 2010, Dare to Care delivered 11 million meals in Kentuckiana. With gas prices and unemployment at record levels, the need for food assistance is critical. There's an easy, no-cost way to help neighbors in need, thanks to the popular WAVE 3 and NBC show, Biggest Loser. Back again this season is the Pound for Pound Challenge which calls on America to get fit. With every pound of weight loss pledged in Kentuckiana, a pound of food will be donated to the Dare to Care food bank.

From West Market Street to Westport Road and across the river into southern Indiana, Dare to Care is feeding Kentuckiana families everyday.

Executive Director, Brian Riendeau says to make that happen, "we work with over 300 community organizations to get the food to the folks in need."

The Sister Visitor Center at 2235 West Market Street is among those organizations. Inside is an emergency assistance program providing food and other assistance. The pantry shelves stay stocked thanks to deliveries from Dare to Care.

Sister Rebecca Miles says "so many of our people will come in and say, 'oh last night, I just prayed and prayed. I didn't know what I was going to do. You are the answer to my prayer."

On the other side of Louisville, sits another haven of assistance. Eastern Area Community Ministries along Westport Road serves 15 families daily. 250 families a month. Carrie Gerard says, "especially now, we see families from every neighborhood, from every zip code."

At Dare to Care, the need for food assistance is up 67% in the last 4 years. Many of the people now needing help are first-time recipients. "A lot of folks" says Riendeau, "that have come in recently have never needed food assistance before. It's really pretty tragic. You can see it in their eyes, they're not proud of the situation they're in now."

But thankfully, they're finding hope and help from strangers. Now neighbors are helping to fill the pantry shelves across Kentuckiana through the Biggest Loser Pound for Pound Challenge.

"Last year, Dare to Care through the Pound for Pound challenge, was able to raise enough food to provide 32,000 meals to this community" explains Riendeau.

Every pound of weight loss pledged means a pound of food donated. Just put in your zip code and the food comes to Kentuckiana.

Riendeau says don't worry, "they're not going to check back with you. Your pledge is your commitment. Once you make that pledge that will equate to pounds of food for Dare to Care."

Dare to Care delivered 11 million meals in 2010 and with that kind of need says Miles, "we depend on the kindness of others."

For people without pounds to lose, simply pledge to stay fit and that's an automatic 5 pounds of food donated.

Dare to Care's goal this year is 40,000 meals which means Kentuckiana needs to pledge 50,000 pounds of weight loss.

To make a pledge go to: