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What Is Freerice?

By Lauren Romano
Updated May 16, 2024
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Freerice is a nonprofit website that donates rice to hungry people around the world. It distributes rice in many countries, including in those that are affected by poverty and destructive weather. The rice is purchased through funds generated by users who play a game on Freerice.com. The site donates a specific number of grains of rice for each answer a user gets correct. Using the website is beneficial to users as well as for combating worldwide hunger.

John Breen started Freerice.com on 7 October 2007 and donated it in 2009 to the United Nations World Food Programme, which is an agency that helps fight hunger. Freerice is a nonprofit, so all the money raised goes directly to the agency. The rice is then typically purchased in the country in which it's going to be used, then distributed to the hungry.

Freerice has donated rice to several countries around the world. Some of the countries include Myanmar after Cyclone Giri struck on 22 October 2010 and Haiti after the 7.0 earthquake that devastated the country on 12 January 2010. It has also distributed rice in Uganda, where it feeds tens of thousands of schoolchildren, and in Cambodia to more than 13,000 nursing and pregnant women.

Users can help generate funds through Freerice by playing one of the many games on the site. There is a variety of subjects, including math, English, chemistry and geography. Ten grains of rice are donated for every correct answer a user makes. Sponsors who have banner ads on the site pay the money directly to the World Food Programme for the purchase of the rice.

There are running totals on the site of how many grains of rice were donated each year since its start in 2007. From 2007 to 2010, 2008 was the year in which the most grains of rice were donated with a count of 43,942,622,700. Monthly totals for the current year are also available as well as daily totals for the current month. From the start of the site in October 2007 to 30 August 2011, there have been more than 91 billion grains of rice donated.

There are quite a few benefits to using Freerice. The major benefit is helping generate funds to purchase food for those who may otherwise have nothing to eat. The other is that it helps users educate themselves in several subject areas while they're helping others. It's especially useful for those who want to help the less fortunate but have no money or items to donate to charitable organizations nor time to volunteer.

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