Tag Archives: Free Rice

Together We Can End Hunger

John Young, former president of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank, has spent a lifetime helping others. It was very early in his humanitarian career that he discovered how you can end hunger and poverty.

As a teenager he volunteered at a hospital one day to feed elderly patients, some very close to death. It was a difficult task and made him a little unsure about going back again. But when he did return for a second day, he saw the joy from the patients because someone cared enough to come back to help them.

Young learned that that is how you make a difference, you get involved and stay connected. If enough people do that hunger and poverty can be eliminated.

The answer to the societal problem of hunger can be found right here in your own backyard. The Freestore Foodbank, for instance, has provided a safety net, and a way out, for people in Cincinnati suffering from hunger. Those solutions are found in the strength of volunteers coming forward like Young did and then going on to become leaders.

There is enough food for everyone in the world, and we can do a much better job preventing food waste. So ending hunger is not something where a miracle cure has to be discovered. It’s a case of stepping up the effort and getting more people involved.

Using the award-winning online game FreeRice, College of Mount St. Joseph (MSJ) students are answering questions in a variety of subjects like vocabulary and science. Every correct answer means 10 grains of rice donated to the UN World Food Programme. The rice is being sent to the school feeding program in Niger, a country that suffered from severe drought and is hosting refugees from the war in Mali. For many children in these impoverished, developing countries, the school meal might be the only one they receive the whole day.

Last fall I did a story on Ithaca College and how they make use of FreeRice as part of their hunger relief program called Food for Thought.

There are many ways now that people, schools, and organizations can get involved to end hunger. There is even a free app people can download onto their smartphones called Charity Miles. When your walk, run, or bike the app keeps track of your distance and for every mile a donation is made to Feeding America or the World Food Programme. You select the charity and the results get posted to your Facebook page. There are lot of athletes and teams so the potential for Charity Miles is amazing.

Charity Miles is partnering with Feeding America for the Together We Can Solve Hunger Campaign. “The campaign provides people with simple, easy ways to engage in the fight against hunger,” said Shannon Traeger, spokesperson for Feeding America. “With more than 50 million Americans living at risk of hunger, including more than one in five children, we’re encouraging everyone to do their part.”

Find a way to get involved and fight hunger. Educate others and get them involved too. This dedication can make a difference in ending hunger here at home and across the globe. The solution to this menace to mankind is right here in front of us.

Article first published as Together We Can End Hunger on Blogcritics.

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On Digital Learning Day, think FreeRice

FreeRice has two goals: Provide education to everyone for free. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This Wednesday, February 1, is the first ever National Digital Learning Day. It’s a chance to showcase the innovation taking place in classrooms through internet technology and digital media.

One online tool helps students learn and also feeds the hungry worldwide. It is called FreeRice and it’s an online trivia game in which you answer questions on vocabulary, math, chemistry, foreign languages, and even art.

While a student is playing and learning about these subjects, something else magical is happening. For every correct answer, 10 grains of rice, paid for by advertisers, are donated to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the largest agency fighting hunger. The donations are used in WFP operations fighting hunger and malnutrition.

Last year, for instance, students who played this game helped support school feeding programs in Haiti and Cambodia. The more students play the game, the more support for hunger relief.

Innovative online learning can play a role in tackling the most massive crisis facing man. There are nearly one billion people worldwide who suffer from hunger. A severe drought struck East Africa last year causing food shortages and wide-scale displacement as people desperately searched for help. This crisis is far from over.

Another one is fast emerging in West Africa, in the Sahel region, where the countries of Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Mali are being devastated by drought which has ruined food supplies. Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, and so many other countries are suffering deeply from hunger and malnutrition.

The World Food Programme relies on voluntary donations to help these countries fight hunger. This agency is so low on funding that many of their relief operations face suspensions or reduced rations. Right now, children in Mauritania are about to lose their school meal of rice at a time when they need it more than ever. The same holds true in the Ivory Coast, where rice and other supplies are running out for children in a country recovering from an internal conflict last year.

FreeRice is a digital tool that can help these hungry children while helping other children learn. The game’s mission statement is to “Provide education to everyone for free” and “Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.” The game is even great for adults who want to test their knowledge on these subjects.

So on this Digital Learning Day I hope many students and teachers will join the already one million players of FreeRice. You can form teams on FreeRice too, so perhaps schools can develop tournaments between classes and even other schools just as they do with football, basketball, debating, and other activities. The sky is the limit for this online learning tool and what it can accomplish.

You can start playing at Freerice.com.

Article first published as On Digital Learning Day, Think FreeRice on Blogcritics.

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This Thanksgiving Feed A Silent Guest and Help End World Hunger

Here is a  list of charities where you can make a “silent guest” donation this Thanksgiving to Help Feed the Hungry. Imagine you have a guest at your table on Thanksgiving, one of the world’s hungry people. You can send the donation to pay for the Thanksgiving meal of your “silent guest.” Please see my article This Thanksgiving Feed A Silent Guest and Help Build World Peace. Also you can read more below about the “silent guest” program.

United Nations World Food Programme

Play Free Rice

Save the Children

Catholic Relief Services


World Vision


Feeding America

Aschiana Foundation

Action Against Hunger

Church World Service

Norwegian Refugee Council


Food for the Poor

article about the Silent Guest program in a 1947 Plymouth newspaper. (courtesy Plymouth Public Library)

The Friendship Train and the "Silent Guest" Program were two ways Americans sought to build peace after World War II (Cincinnati Post reprint courtesy of the Cincinnati Public Library)

In Thanksgiving 1947 Americans were asked to take a “silent guest” into their homes, one of the hungry in Europe. The World War II devastated countries had been hit hard by drought and harsh winters causing food shortages. The silent guest plan was one way Americans came to the aid of the hungry and suffering.

On Thanksgiving Day Americans would figure what it would cost to feed a “silent guest” at their meal and then mail the donation to a committee in Plymouth, MA – the home of Thanksgiving.  Donations poured in and led to the purchase of many thousands of CARE packages of food going to the hungry in Europe.

This Thanksgiving we can answer the cries of the hungry whether it’s in the famine zone of East Africa, or in drought-ravaged Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo  or Haiti. This holiday there may be those in your own city and state who are hungry.

You can take in a “silent guest” and make a donation to feed your guest at a number of charities.  Also included is a link to the online game Free Rice, where for every correct answer you get, 10 grains of rice are donated to the World Food Programme, paid for by advertisers, a modern way of taking in a “silent guest.”

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Practice Your Spanish and Help End Global Hunger

Playing the online game Free Rice leads to donations for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to fight global hunger . Every correct answer means 10 grains of rice donated to WFP, the largest food aid organization.

There is a great new way students or anyone else can practice Spanish vocabulary. Now, if you are already fluent in Spanish, please skip ahead to the last paragraph. If not, stick around.

What does the Spanish word Marzo mean? Does El Cobre mean copper or hat? What does the word tarde mean in Spanish? Hint: hopefully you have never been this going to school or work.

These are just a few examples of Spanish vocabulary questions available at the award winning online game Free Rice. To get started, you go to Freerice.com and click on Spanish under the languages section. There are also sections for many other subjects too.

You can answer hundreds of Spanish vocabulary questions. For each answer you get right, 10 grains of rice will be donated to the United Nations World Food Programme to fight hunger. The rice is paid for by advertisers on the site. You will see the rice being added to a bowl in the right hand corner of the screen every time you get an answer right.

The World Food Programme runs the site with its two stated goals: To “Provide education to everyone for free” and “Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.”

So you can practice your Spanish vocabulary while at the same time helping fight hunger which afflicts nearly 1 billion people worldwide. It’s a great tool for learning, humanitarianism and social responsibility.

Click on the groups section and create your own team for your class, school or organization. You might even be able to set up a tournament between schools.

Yes, back to those who have already mastered Spanish. There are Free Rice sections for German, Italian and French. Bonne chance!!

To get started playing, visit FreeRice.com

Article first published as Practice Your Spanish and Help End Global Hunger on Blogcritics.

Free Rice is currently helping feed children in Cambodia, where massive floods have struck recently. See below a video from the World Food Programme.

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Humanitarian heroes, both large and invisible

The Oct. 13 editorial, “Borlaug Vision Brings World to Iowa,” highlights the World Food Prize event this week in Des Moines.

It’s worth noting, too, that surrounding this critical world hunger symposium is a landscape filled with humanitarian heroes of the past. The most recognizable, of course, are Norman Borlaug and Herbert Hoover, who saved many millions of lives. But there are many others whose names we may not know.

Read my article at The Des Moines Register

Happy World Food Day October 16th!

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