When you work at a Disney theme park you don’t have to look far for a chance to make a difference in the community as well. This year Disneyland Resort Cast Members are shedding pounds, making healthier choices and feeding the hungry in Orange County this summer, all as part of the Disneyland Resort Weight Loss Challenge for Charity. The Resort is partnering with the Orange County Food Bank to administer the challenge, during which a pound of food will be donated for every pound lost by a Cast Member.
The Challenge launched this week, with official weigh-in locations throughout the Resort confidentially recording the starting weight of participating Cast Members. Midway through the Challenge, there will be an additional official weigh-in for tracking progress. The program will culminate with final results being recorded during the week of September 14. As an extra benefit, one additional pound of food will be donated to the Food Bank for every participant who enrolls in the Challenge.
“The Weight Loss Challenge is a great opportunity for our Cast Members to do something positive for themselves and for others,” said Kristin Nolt Wingard, senior vice president, public affairs and an executive champion for health and wellness at Disneyland Resort. “While we lose, the Orange County Food Bank wins.”
The Weight Loss Challenge is part of Disney’s Healthy Pursuits, a collection of health care programs, tools and resources Cast Members can use to make simple changes to live healthier lifestyles. Resources include nutrition programs, fitness classes such as yoga and boot camp and preventative health care solutions, like complimentary personal health assessments and health coaching.
Benefiting from the Weight Loss Challenge is the Orange County Food Bank. Based in Garden Grove and part of the Community Action Partnership of Orange County, the Food Bank distributes 15 million pounds of food annually and directly serves 23,000 people each month. In addition, it provides food and personal care items to more than 300 non-profit organizations, such as social service agencies, churches, shelters, soup kitchens and senior centers. These organizations serve the homeless, people with disabilities, seniors on fixed incomes and the unemployed and the working poor.
“At a time when so many families are struggling, the Disneyland Resort and its Cast Members have provided a great example of how people who may have enough can share with those who have too little,” said Mark Lowery, director, Community Action Partnership of Orange County. “We are so thankful that the Weight Loss Challenge will enable vulnerable people to provide food for their families during this economic crisis.”
The Orange County Food Bank and the Disneyland Resort are long-standing partners, with the Resort hosting quarterly food drives benefiting the Food Bank. Teams of Disney VoluntEARS regularly give their time throughout the year. Last year, Cast Members packed more than 23,000 food boxes at the Food Bank’s warehouse.