Non-profit online site helps feed the hungry

Ellen Gustavson/Staff Writer

Every six seconds, a child dies from hunger.

The issue of world hunger is a growing problem, but there is something every CFHS student and teacher can do about it. In fact, just about anyone with access to a computer can help fight hunger while also educating themselves. What is this amazing phenomena?

Enter the website freerice.com. A non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program, FreeRice has two goals: to help end world hunger by providing rice to the hungry, and to provide everyone with free education. It was founded in October 2007 by John Breen. He later donated the site to the UN Food Program last March.

FreeRice’s homepage is basically a multiple-choice vocabulary question. For every correct answer, FreeRice donates 10 grains of rice to the hungry. The rice is paid for by sponsors, which are shown on a banner at the bottom of the computer screen. The money generated by the banners is used to buy the rice.

Ten grains of rice may not sound like a lot, but it really adds up. In only five minutes of playing, you could donate 200 grains of rice. And if that doesn’t seem like much, consider this: it takes about 400 grams of rice to feed one person for a day, and there are about 48 grains of rice in a gram. That comes out to 19,200 grains of rice. That means that it would take about an hour and a half for one person to feed someone else for the day.

Spending your free time doing vocabulary questions? That might not be everyone’s idea of fun. But no worries. FreeRice also offers questions in chemistry, math (including pre-algebra), languages (including Spanish, French, Italian and German), art and geography, as well as questions with varying levels of difficulty.

This makes FreeRice a great study tool while helping a good cause at the same time. Instead of spending endless hours playing Xbox or Facebooking, why not play an educational game that helps fight world hunger? FreeRice is the ultimate way to spend another boring winter day inside: it could help prepare you for the ACTs and upcoming tests while saving lives. Anyone can play, it’s easy and fun, and it supports a great cause.

And just think. If every CFHS student (about 1000) spent the 20-minute DEAR time playing (or studying, depending on how you look at it) on freerice.com for one school week, we could donate 4 million grains of rice, enough to feed 200 people. Now that’s some food for thought. Literally.

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