Members of the Elmira WW group (formerly Weight Watchers) celebrated their weight loss accomplishments by donating food to those who may need it more than they do.
The group collectively ended up donating $150 in cash and 910.5 pounds in food and other assorted items to the Waterloo Region Food Bank, turning it all over to the agency at an event last week at the Elmira Foodland store.
The amount far exceeded Weight Watcher coach Tracey Dobson’s expectations.
“I’m super proud. When you see all that food there it’s like ‘Oh my gosh, all of that was once on us,’” she said of the weight shed that transformed into food donations.
The Elmira WW group sees some 50 members come out to the weekly meetings, ranging from new members of two weeks to lifetime members of 20 years. The goal was to give to a good cause, as well as to inspire other Weight Watchers members to do the same.
“We’ve challenged them, any individual workshop, to pool together and join our challenge to do good,” said Dobson. “We shouldn’t be eating it, but somebody else needs it.”
Collectively, the Elmira group lost 642 pounds – but since some members lost more than 80 pounds, they decided it would be more efficient (and easier on their wallets) to donate cash instead of food. Other members who had lost lower amounts, say 15 pounds, gave a little more than was required – around 20 to 25 pounds, for instance.
Dobson noted that it can be a real struggle to manage weight at times.
“I always say a food addiction is worse than any other kind of addiction, because you can live without gambling, you can live without alcohol, you can live without drugs. You cannot live without food. It is a constant battle.”
The food bank seemed like an ideal charitable organization for the group to support.
Dobson said she was shocked by the high need for food bank services in Waterloo Region, having been given a behind-the-scenes glance by Lisa Martin, food bank coordinator at Woolwich Community Services.
“When we went to deliver the food to the food bank, Lisa took us in and showed us how it all operates. And I think for all four of us that went in afterward, we were a little bit floored at how many families actually use our food bank and all the different kinds of services that Woolwich Community Services offer,” said Dobson.
“They put 75 families a month through our little food bank there in Elmira. That floored me. I still think of us as this little small town, but clearly, we’re not.”
Martin expressed her gratitude at the Foodland gathering on May 2.
“We’re very thankful that they included us in this and included the community. That was really cool,” said Martin. “It was a great idea. They seemed like such a great group of ladies.”