Man's weight loss challenge helps food bank

May 21, 2008 5:41:05 PM PDT
Nearly everyone has tried to diet at some point. And you know losing weight isn't easy, but it always helps to have a goal. A Lehigh Valley man has a great goal. And you can help him in his cause.

Like millions of Americans, Ben Miller, of Allentown, Pa., started dieting at the beginning of the new year.

Ben says, looking back, "Over the years, I went from 165 pounds in the Navy to my highest of 477 pounds."

Ben wants to get down to 230 pounds.

But he is also turning his loss into a gain for the local food ban, donating a pound of food for every pound he loses.

I wasn't willing to do it for myself, but I am willing to do it for other people, "he says.

Ben's message, and his "Donate My Weight" website, has attracted media attention, which, in turn, has attracted sponsors, such as Wegman's Supermarkets.

Kathy Haines, of Wegman's, says, " We were inspired by Ben's weigh loss, and we really believe in the Second Harvest Food Bank, so for us it was an absolutely natural fit. We, you know what? We can make a difference here, as well as inspire others to make a difference."

Ben's become a celebrity at the Wegman's supermarket in Allentown.

Workers there are tracking his progress in a display at the store's main entrance.

He says, "My original goal was 5 tons of food by the end of the year. Wegman's offered to donate 2 truckloads of food."

With each truckload equaling 10 tons of food, the donation from Wegmans' quadruples his goal!

Ben says he really feels he's in the spotlight., "It's some nerves because I don't want to let anyone down. But it's a great feeling knowing that all that food is going to help feed people."

So far, ben has lost 78 pounds, losing it the old-fashioned way, on a 15-hundred calorie-a-day diet.