Oct. 8, 2018
As Oaklawn employees’ weight shrinks, donations grow for local food pantry
MARSHALL – With good health in mind, more than 50 Oaklawn employees resolved at the start of 2018 to lose weight – and the group’s members have shed a total of 1,060 pounds as of Oct. 3.
Responding to an additional challenge, the group also has been gathering the same number of pounds of food for donation to Crossroads Church’s Bread of Life Food Pantry.
The idea for the combined effort grew from suggestions made by Judy Cole, a 10-year Oaklawn employee who manages Oaklawn’s home medical equipment department.
“Oaklawn has a program called THEnetwork and one of its primary roles is to connect people who have ideas with those who can help assess and potentially implement those ideas,” said Marla E. Stuck, Oaklawn’s executive director of human resources.
“Judy suggested that we bring Weight Watchers At Work to Oaklawn, and the interest was overwhelming,” said Stuck, who along with Oaklawn employee Deb Smith recently achieved Weight Watchers’ Lifetime membership status.
The group also donated 313 pounds of non-perishable food items along with a $750 cash gift to the food bank, she said.
Cole, who had been familiar with the Weight Watchers program since the 1980s, recommended the program because of its relative ease and “the fact that it doesn’t feel like a diet,” Stuck said.
“It helps to picture just how well our teams have done ridding ourselves of unhealthy eating habits by seeing the number of pounds of weight we carried around,” Stuck said, citing Cole’s original suggestion to make the equivalent donation of food.
“For example, four sticks of butter equals a pound, a can of Crisco weighs three pounds and a bag of potatoes can weigh 10 pounds,” she said.
Through the program, participating Oaklawn employees were involved in two weight-loss sessions that began in early January. The final weigh-in for the second session took place Oct. 3. A third session was to get under way Oct. 10.
“We are excited to add new employees to our journey to a healthier life,” Stuck said.
Information about Crossroads Church’s Bread of Life Food Pantry is available at www.ccmonline.org/food-pantry-1 or call (269) 781-9094, Ext. 21. For information about the Weight Watchers at Work program, contact Rosemarie Kaganis at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit weightwatchers.com.