You gotta try the new Internet game in which you choose the correct definition of a word — the words keep getting harder, which makes it really fun — and for every correct choice you make, a hungry person is fed. The website, FreeRice.com, donates 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program (WFP) every time you get one right. Today, brainy gamers are set to pass the 5 billion grain mark after just seven weeks of operations. That is enough to feed more than 250,000 people for one day!
FreeRice.com was founded on October 7 by American fundraising pioneer John Breen, and relies on payments from companies that place advertisements on the site to underwrite its donations to WFP. On Wednesday the vocabulary charity decided to raise their donation to 20 grains of rice per correct answer.
On the first day of the site’s operations, only 830 grains were donated. But with the help of bloggers and social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook, the numbers have grown exponentially, and yesterday more than 383 million grains – or the equivalent of 16.9 million clicks – was donated.
WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran hailed the FreeRice game as an example of how the Internet can mobilize millions of people worldwide to end want.
“Every grain of rice is essential in the fight against hunger,” she said, noting that hunger claims more lives than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
“FreeRice really hits how the Web can be harnessed to raise awareness and funds for the world’s number one emergency,” said the WFP chief, praising the site’s marketing success.
And, bookmark it!