Play A Game And Help End Global Hunger

by The Happy Rock on November 20, 2007

“About 25,000 people die each day from hunger or hunger-related causes, most of them children.”

“The United Nations estimates that the cost to end world hunger completely, along with diseases related to hunger and poverty, is about $195 billion a year.”

This is post is about shedding some light on poverty around the world. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our small world and own finances without giving as much as a thought to those who have much less around the world.

free-rice-feed-hungry.jpgThe quotes above were provided by an innovative new new site called FreeRice.com(click the banner to check out the site). The site promises to donate grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for each question correctly answered in a vocabulary game. The non-profit business model will use the money from advertising to buy the grains of rice that are earned by the players. Players get 10 grains of rice for each question that is answered correctly. Yesterday, 170,885,620 grains of rice were earned by the community of players.

I am not sure that the business model is sustainable in its current form or if the statistics are very accurate, but I love the sentiment. Create a site that has intrinsic value for the users by providing fun and learning, increase the conversation about global poverty, and attempt to do something to help. The site is a brainchild of poverty.com‘s private owner John Breen.  Kudos!

One other intersting note is that “twenty-two developed countries below have pledged to work towards each giving 0.7% (a little less than 1%) of their national income in international aid, which would raise the $195 billion.”  The US is one of them.  Click here to see a full list and the progress that has been made.

 I achieve level 35-40 in the vocab game, if any one is interested.  It takes a fair amount of guessing correctly to get that my score that high though.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Thecpa November 21, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Happy Rock,
Very insightful post. However, the UN has little credibility with the world any more. This past week AP reported that the UN had revised downward significantly the number of AIDS cases worldwide it had previously reported. The article is posted on msnbc.mns.com. One critic was quoted as saying that the inflated numbers were to gain public support and donations. It just makes me a little suspicious of any numbers put out by the UN.

Don’t get me wrong. There are needy and hungry people in the world. But where does the “25,000 people die per day from hunger” statistic come from? It would be better for us to take a plane and food to one of the under developed countries and feed the hungry ourselves than give the UN the money to do it.

FreeRice.com is certainly a creative idea to get people involved with this issue. It sounds like fun and I certainly hope it will succeed.

Happy Thanksgiving!


The Happy Rock December 1, 2007 at 1:52 am

I agree the UN reputation certainly has a dubious past, but I still love the spirit of the website. Maybe a better hunger organization could provide more credibility to the site.


smartmove December 16, 2007 at 3:21 am

No matter how small one’s contribution maybe, actually doing something to stop hunger around the world is a noble deed. I hope many would follow suit.


teriyaki joe October 31, 2008 at 11:56 pm

I agree with TheCpa about UN inefficiency. Frankly, the UN is worthless and wasteful. I’ll continue to choose Kiva.org any day of the week over the UN. Also, donating food is noble, but we should be spending more of our money and energy on teaching these countries about infrastructure, irrigation, production, and democratic and capitalistic principles. Teach them to fish, then teach them to protect their fisheries. Many of these countries are so screwed up politically that many of the people being saved from hunger are being stolen from and then literally slaughtered by dictator governments.

So feed them? Of course! This is not at all a knock on poverty.com, quite the contrary, I admire them immensely. I just think more of us should stress the importance of more efficiently run private church, community, and educational organizations (which they rightly list on their site). Thank you John Breen for your work!


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