Saturday, August 8, 2009

Free Rice

In America we often view rice as a way to supplement meals that are mainly comprised of meat and vegetables. It's a way to fill a plate up, stretch expensive ingredients, or serve as a base for other foods. For many people in the world, rice is a staple—it's the food that helps them survive each day. In our American plethora of delicious dining options and high-quality ingredients sometimes it's easy to forget that for many people in the world food is simply for sustenance not pleasure. And many are at risk of not getting enough food each to day to survive.

With that sustenance can be provided to others each and every day. FreeRice is run by the United Nations World Food Program. It's simple—just take one of the many quizzes on the website and for each correct answer ten grains of rice are donated to the program to feed people around the world. These are not quizzes like "What kind of animal was I in a past life?" or "Which Simpsons' character am I?"—these are quizzes than can actually improve your mind! The subjects include famous paintings, chemical symbols, English grammar, English vocabulary, countries, world capitals, French, German, Italian, Spanish, basic math, and multiplication. The questions will even adjust to your level, so as you get questions correct the difficulty goes up, and if you get questions wrong the questions will become easier. Just playing for ten minutes helps to contribute to somebody's daily diet.

The following information is quoted from the FreeRice website to give examples of where rice from the FreeRice program has been donated:

  • In Bangladesh, to feed 27,000 refugees from Myanmar for two weeks.
  • In Cambodia, to provide take-home rations of four kilograms of rice for two months to 13,500 pregnant and nursing women.
  • In Uganda, to feed 66,000 school children for a week.
  • In Nepal, to feed over 108,000 Bhutanese refugees for three days.
  • In Bhutan, to feed 41,000 children for 8 days.
  • In Myanmar, to feed 750,000 cyclone affected people for 3 days.
So feed your mind with a little vocabulary, art, or geography, and help feed a person in need!

(Special thanks to Melissa Bramble for bringing my attention to the FreeRice program.)

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