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Playing Games To Stop Worldwide Hunger

Freerice.com is a site that allows you to feed people in need while testing your skills with a variety of games.

Starting is easy. Upon visiting the site’s homepage, there is already a question on display.

All you have to do to begin is answer the question and more will follow, with various levels of difficulty. As you play, freerice.com donates 10 grains of rice for every question you answer correctly.

You may be wondering how selecting the right answers in an online game translates to rice accumulation. Let me start by saying freerice.com is not stocked with rice enough to feed the world, dispensing it in trickles as a reward for your intellectually sound guesses – if that were the case, the site wouldn’t be needed.

What happens is this: for every question you get right, sponsor banners appear at the bottom of your screen. The money generated from the banners is used to buy rice. This rice is then donated to people in need of food, all over the world.

The site, which was founded by John Breen in 2007, was donated to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in 2009. The money generated from the site goes the WFP, who then purchase the rice for distribution. Often, the rice is bought locally in the country of the beneficiaries, limiting transport time and emissions.

From January to May of 2011, Free Rice donated 6 billion grains of rice to Haiti. The site also raised enough to feed 27,000 people in Bangladesh for two weeks. A success that would no doubt have required over 150 million grains of rice to achieve.

When the site began in 2007, it quizzed visitors predominately with vocabulary questions. Now it hosts questions in math, science, art and culture, languages, and geography. It even has questions for SAT preparation. Certainly, enough to satisfy any lover of brain teasers.

For the solitaire Sams and Susans (if they haven’t been replaced by obsessive Facebook-checking Sams and Susans) freerice.com can be a new format to alleviate boredom. And more importantly, hunger.

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