Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Food & Society: FreeRice

FreeRice: Play the Vocabulary Game and Help Feed the Hungry

FreeRice is a computer game with a humanitarian soul. The computer game tests your vocabulary--and for every word you get right 10 grains of rice are donated to hungry people throughout the world through the United Nations to help end world hunger. FreeRice is a game designed to challenge (and improve) your vocabulary skills and feed the hungry at the same time. It's a major league win-win proposition.

Here's how it works: A word pops up on the FreeRice Website with multiple choice answers. If you click the correct answer another, more difficult, word pops up for you to answer. Each time you get the correct answer the next word for you to answer is more difficult in a progressive fashion. For every correct click/answer 10 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Programme.

The game began on October 7, 2007. Thus far 195,074.730 grains of rice have been donated. We don't know--and aren't in the mood to calculate--how many pounds of rice that equals so far but it sounds pretty good for only 17 days of game playing. (On October 7, the game's first day 830 grains of rice were donated. Yesterday 30, 423,770 grains were donated.) The great thing is even if you get a word wrong you can keep going--and donating free rice.

The game also gives you a constant vocabulary rating as you play it. Warning: The combination of testing your vocabulary and knowing that each word you get correct results in a donation of 10 grains of rice is addicting. (We took a five minute break from writing this piece to play the game. Our five minutes lasted 10 minutes (addicting) and we donated 310 grains of rice. We got a 40 vocabulary level during our ten minutes, with only 3 words incorrect. We will be back.

Of course much more free rice can be donated. The more people know about the site--and play the game--the more rice can be donated by the sponsors to hungry people throughout the world. So play often when you read this--and email this story to your family members, friends, business associates, and even an enemy or two. It's a great game to play with your kids--or let them do it on their own. It will improve their vocabulary and they will feel great about the fact their correct answers mean a donation of rice to the hungry.

FreeRice is sponsored by Macy's Department Stores, Apple Computer, Office Depot, TimeLife, Inc., Fujitsu, Readers Digest and a number of other companies. The companies advertise on the FreeRice website, their small logos appearing on the site at the bottom of the screen as you play the game. It's very low key advertising that doesn't at all get in the way of playing the game. The sponsors pay for all the rice donated by players playing the vocabulary game.

You can click here or on any of the FreeRice linked words above to go to the FreeRice website and play the vocabulary game and start using your brain to donate free rice to the poor. No donation is required on your part--the sponsors take care of that. All you need to do is get as many answers as you can right. For each correct answer 10 grains of rice are donated to the hungry. From your brain to their stomachs is a pretty good investment of time. Get playing.

We applaud the creators and sponsors of FreeRice. It's doing good for others and social marketing at its best. We also invite you to read more about the United Nations World Food Programme here and what you can do to help solve world hunger. Learn more about world hunger and solutions at , FreeRice's sister website.


Anonymous said...

So if people "lose" points, starving people get less rice and lose their lives?
Not charitable!

Natural~Specialty Foods Memo said...

Not at all. There is no losing of points or rice. Suggest you go to the sight, play it and rad more about it.