Free Rice

free riceAfter gorging on Cha Kua Teow (sic) yesterday, sick it so happened that we stumbled upon freerice.com, where we spent a couple of hours sparing a thought, several hundred words and grains of rice for the needy:

Frequently Asked Questions
How does playing the vocabulary game at FreeRice help me?

Learning new vocabulary has tremendous benefits. It can help you:

* Formulate your ideas better
* Write better papers, emails and business letters
* Speak more precisely and persuasively
* Comprehend more of what you read
* Read faster because you comprehend better
* Get better grades in high school, college and graduate school
* Score higher on tests like the SAT, GRE, LSAT and GMAT
* Perform better at job interviews and conferences
* Sell yourself, your services, and your products better
* Be more effective and successful at your job

After you have done FreeRice for a couple of days, you may notice an odd phenomenon. Words that you have never consciously used before will begin to pop into your head while you are speaking or writing. You will feel yourself using and knowing more words.
How does the FreeRice vocabulary program work?

FreeRice has a custom database containing thousands of words at varying degrees of difficulty. There are words appropriate for people just learning English and words that will challenge the most scholarly professors. In between are thousands of words for students, business people, homemakers, doctors, truck drivers, retired people… everyone!

FreeRice automatically adjusts to your level of vocabulary. It starts by giving you words at different levels of difficulty and then, based on how you do, assigns you an approximate starting level. You then determine a more exact level for yourself as you play. When you get a word wrong, you go to an easier level. When you get three words in a row right, you go to a harder level. This one-to-three ratio is best for keeping you at the “outer fringe” of your vocabulary, where learning can take place.

There are 50 levels in all, but it is rare for people to get above level 48.
How is the difficulty level for each word determined?

The program keeps track of how many people get each word right or wrong, and then adjusts each word’s difficulty level accordingly. So the words at the easiest levels are the ones that people most often get right. The words at the hardest levels are the ones that people most often get wrong. As more and more people have played the game, these levels have become increasingly more accurate.
What happens if my computer suddenly loses power while I am in the middle of playing? Does my donation still count?

Yes, once your screen says that you have donated a certain amount of rice, that means our server has registered it. For example, suppose your screen says that you have donated 120 grains of rice. If your computer then suddenly loses power, or you close your browser, or you click to go somewhere else, your donation has already been counted.
Who pays for the donated rice?

The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We commend these companies for their participation at FreeRice.
If FreeRice has the rice to give, why not give it all away right now?

FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice―you are earning it 10 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.
Who distributes the donated rice?

The rice is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The World Food Program is the world’s largest food aid agency, working with over 1,000 other organizations in over 75 countries. In addition to providing food, the World Food Program helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good. Wherever possible, the World Food Program buys food locally to support local farmers and the local economy. We encourage you to visit the United Nations World Food Program to learn more about their successful approach to ending hunger.
Will the rice I donate make a difference?

The rice you donate makes a huge difference to the person who receives it. To a mother or father watching a loved child die in their arms from hunger, the rice you donate is more precious than anything in the world.
What is being done to end world hunger?

There is great progress being made to end world hunger. Many organizations across the globe are involved in this struggle. Each day, hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and women work for these organizations. Through their efforts, millions of impoverished people have food to eat, learn skills and find hope for the future.
What else can I do to help end hunger?

Here are two key things you can do to help end hunger. Both are free and easy to do.

1. Add your name to the One Campaign, where several million people have already joined together “as One” to end hunger and extreme poverty. If enough people join, dreams for a better world can be made into reality very quickly.
2. The United Nations estimates that the cost to end world hunger completely, along with diseases related to hunger and poverty, is about $195 billion a year. Twenty-two countries have joined together to raise this money by each contributing 0.7% (less than 1%) of national income. Some of the countries have already met this goal. Others are being a little slow, but this can be fixed. You can see how the countries are doing here. You can print a letter to support your country’s participation here.

Where can I learn more about hunger?

One last important thing you can do to help end hunger is to become knowledgeable about it. A good way to do this is to visit our sister site Poverty.com (designed so that busy people can learn quickly about hunger and poverty) or one of the many excellent sites listed here. We believe that when enough people around the world become knowledgeable about hunger, it will no longer be tolerated.