Monday, April 28, 2008

Goof Off for a Good Cause: The Rice Game

Help end world hunger
“What if just knowing what a word meant could help feed hungry people around the world? Well, at FreeRice it does . . . the totals have grown exponentially.”
- The Washington Post

Back at work today? Stuck on a long conference call? Here’s a way to play an online game, build your vocabulary — and give the UN World Food Programme (UNWFP) a free contribution for every word you get right.

I posted about Free Rice last December, but I thought it was time to spotlight this program again. A global rice shortage means prices for this staple crop have risen 68% just since January. Governments in several poorer countries have called out the military to supervise sales, and even the U.S. and UK are seeing some stores limiting sales to discourage hoarding. All the more reason to help out even in a small way, with
The Rice Game.

The lure is a vocabulary game: choose the correct definition for a word, “win” 20 grains of rice for the UNWFP. Does 20 grains per word really amount to much? Saturday’s total: 133,619,760 grains of rice donated (March’s total = 4,109,191,320 grains). It adds up quickly. Happy procrastination, word games, and giving to a good cause. What could be better?

Today’s mitzvah: Play the Rice Game today — you’ll be hooked! And hungry people will benefit from our fun.


Hops said...

Love this game!

Finn said...

I heard on the radio yesterday that food prices have jumped 17% in the past year. This is the biggest increase in food in over 30 years. These are some tough times the world is going through.

jen x said...

Hops: Me, too!

Finn: It's really sobering -- and not like most people's income has increased 17% to keep pace. This made me think of Francis Moore Lappe's book from the 70s, "Diet for a Small Planet." There's just no reason for my grocery to have huge pyramids of produce and glistening cases of prepared foods when others can't even afford staples.

Finn said...

I know I'm not so sure biofuels are helping. Yesterday I learned that it takes the equivilent of 3 entire soccer feilds of corn to make enough fuel for just 1 flight accross the atlantic. So a return flight uses 6 feilds of corn. Thats just too much waste and its driving food prices through the roof. Corn and rice are staple foods like you said, people depend on them for nourishment they shouldn't be wasted to make fuels.

Chris said...

Yo! My name is Chris and I'm reaching out to world-conscious blogs. I noticed that you blogged about free rice, and I'm working with a small startup called Avanoo that is developing a similar concept. By going to our site ( and putting one of many badges on your blog, every time someone clicks that badge, a dollar is donated by a corporate sponsor to the non-profit!

We're still in beta, but we wanted to spread the word as much as possible. If you can help us show others how, together, bloggers and web users can raise funds and awareness for good causes by using our collective power, I'd really appreciate it. Maybe you'll even blog about us!

Thanks for your time,
Chris Paik
Outreach Coordinator
Avanoo, Inc.

bluesky said...

Another great charity site is It donates money to children in need through World Vision.

Check it out at