The New Way to Save the World

There is finally a way to procrastinate that is both noble and useful. Www.freerice.com, a way to sound smart and feel good about it, builds vocabulary intelligence while simultaneously feeding the world. According to the Freerice homepage, people can play a vocabulary building game that consists of matching words to their synonyms. Each correct answer donates the money to buy 20 grains of rice to the World Food Program. World Food Programme, a site that represents “the food aid arm of the UN,” according to their mission statement, has also gathered a lot of attention due to Freerice.com. According to National Public Radio, Freerice.com has “driven the most Inter?net traffic to the World Food Programme site.” Jennifer Parmelee, a spokesperson for the World Food Program interviewed by NPR, said the site has provided “the gift of awareness about world hunger.” Freerice.com, as well as its sister site, Poverty.com, was started by a computer programmer named John Breen who began the site from his residence in Indiana to help his son prepare for the SATs, stated “The Christian Science Monitor.” According to “The Christian Science Monitor,” after Poverty.com launched in January of 2007, Freerice. com was created in October of that year, and is one of the various websites that Breen began with a humanitarian goal. By January of 2008, Freerice.com players had donated “more than 15 billion grains of rice…enough to feed more than 700,000 people for one day,” said Jennifer Parmelee of the World Food Program. The funding, totaling to enough money to cover 6,948,988,060 grains for the month of December 2007, gifted by freerice.com to the World Food Program, is generated through a system of internet advertising, stated Freerice.com. The advertisements are placed at the bottom of the screen of each new vocabulary challenge. With each new question, the advertisers give freerice.com enough money for that one question’s rice winnings. According to freerice. com’s FAQs section of the site, the advertisers can afford this because they earn money from the products that people buy after viewing their advertisements on the freerice website. All of the money earned is donated to the World Food Program, as Freerice.com is a nonprofit website, stated Breen. The rice distribution is not limited to only a few countries either. According to the World Food Pro?gram Web site, ten different countries, such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Nepal, receive support from the efforts of Freerice.com. According to their Web site, even the purchasing of the rice itself assists in the fight against poverty and hunger. All of the rice is “bought in developing countries, keeping the cost of reaching the hungry to a minimum and boosting farmers’ efforts to grow their own food,” stated the site. Beyond the rice provided by the World Food Program, the site states that their group provides school meals to the children of supported countries, providing “hungry children [incentive] to attend school and help them concentrate on their studies.”According to their Web site, the World Food Program also gives food to workers, allowing them flexibility to try new innovative agricultural techniques without as much pressure to find the necessary sustenance. With both the World Food Program and Freerice.com, everyone has the ability for to help solve world hunger. Any amount of money can be donated through the World Food Program to actively promote their humanitarian cause, stated the World Food Program Web site. Even without some extra change to donate, anyone can help end hunger through the creation of Freerice. com. Saving the world one grain of rice at a time is just a mouse click away.