Rice generated by the award-winning Internet word game FreeRice will soon be going to help feed survivors of the cyclone which hit Myanmar in May.
The rice will be distributed to many of the 755,000 people that WFP aims to reach with its relief operation in the country. Two rice consignments for Myanmar have been paid for by YUM! and Unilever, the latest companies to help fund the FreeRice initiative.
Through FreeRice.com, online players ranging from school children to office workers donate 20 grains of rice to WFP every time they get a right answer.
FreeRice’s creator John Breen estimates that up to 500,000 people play the vocabulary-expanding online game every day. So far, players have won over 36 billion grains of rice for the hungry – that’s enough for 3.75 million meals.
Rice has already been donated to WFP programmes in Uganda, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. It has fed refugees, schoolchildren, pregnant women and mothers.
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The FreeRice website, launched in October 2007, continues to win recognition as an innovative web phenomenon. It has just been selected by Time magazine as one of the top 50 websites of the year.
FreeRice creator John Breen recently picked up a second award for the ground-breaking web initiative. The award, presented on May 16, came from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. On January 7, FreeRice won the best website prize in the charity category of the Yahoo! UK & Ireland Finds of the Year Awards.
With interest in the FreeRice vocab game as strong as ever, John and WFP are hoping to reach the target of 4 million meals for the hungry by the end of the summer.