Among the many perks of being a food blogger is the opportunity to really make a difference. The formidable Pim of Chez Pim has developed a fantastic annual fundraising campaign that raises money for the UN World Food Programme. Here's what Pim has to say about Menu for Hope:
Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by me and a revolving group of food bloggers around the world. Five years ago, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired me to find a way to help, and the very first Menu for Hope was born. The campaign has since become a yearly affair, raising funds to support worthy causes worldwide. In 2007, Menu for Hope raised nearly $100K to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry.
Each December, food bloggers from all over the world join the campaign by offering a delectable array of food-related prizes for the Menu for Hope raffle. Anyone – and that means you too - can buy raffle tickets to bid on these prizes. For every $10 donated, you earn one virtual raffle ticket to bid on a prize of your choice. At the end of the two-week campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim.
Once again we've chosen to work with the UN World Food Programme. WFP 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.
With the success of last year's campaign to support the school lunch program in Lesotho, we are going to continue our support to the same program. During the duration of Menu for Hope V, we will be posting updates from the kids and the farmers we supported this past year.
If you weren't around last year for Menu for Hope 4, let me explain a bit about why we are supporting this particular program. We chose to support the school lunch program because providing food for the children not only keeps them alive, but keeps them in school so that they learn the skills to feed themselves in the future. We chose to support the program in Lesotho because it is a model program in local procurement - buying food locally to support local farmers and the local economy. Instead of shipping surplus corn across the ocean, the WFP is buying directly from local subsistent farmers who practice conservation farming methods in Lesotho to feed the children there.
We know our readers trust us, but we also want to be completely transparent in our fundraising. So, we use a very good online fundraising company called Firstgiving, who has worked with us since the first Menu for Hope years ago.
Donors can make an online donation with a credit card. Firstgiving collects and processes the payments and, at the end of the campaign, transfers the donations in one lump sum to the WFP. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved. The bloggers never touch the money. The WFP don't waste overheads on processing mini-donations, the majority of which were between $10-$50, that's a whole lot of tenners to make up $90K. Firstgiving does all the work and collects a small fee, which include the credit card processing charges. Last year, Firstgiving gave back 1% of the total amount raised in lieu of a discount on their processing fee. Thank you Firstgiving, we appreciated it very much!
In the spirit of giving and of helping those less fortunate than us, I've decided to contribute something to the raffle this year! That's right -- this year, you can bid on a box of some of my favorite sweets, made by yours truly and shipped anywhere in the lower 48. I guarantee lots of chocolate, even some homemade caramel, and of course, a nod to this blog's namesake with some Not Derby Pie bars. The prize I'm offering is under prize code UE07. You can find more information, including a list of items to bid on, at Chez Pim: www.chezpim.com. For a list of prizes originating on the East Coast and surrounding areas, check Steamy Kitchen, the lovely Jaden's site. She's our regional host and has a complete list of East Coast prizes.
Here are detailed instructions on how to donate and enter the raffles: 1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope at http://chezpim.com 2. Go to the donation site at http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhope5 and make a donation. 3. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02 4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match. 5. Please allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.
One last little plug: we know that the last few months have been super rough for folks, and that many are pinching their pennies right now. But this campaign will raise money for those with much, much less than we have, that's a guarantee. And the chance to win some really freakin' cool things while giving charity ain't all that bad, either. So bid away, and best of luck to all of you!
Believe me when I say that the prizes offered are through-the-roof amazing: you won't want to miss out on the chance to win some truly unique packages, from handmade sweets to signed cookbooks to vacation packages to dining with food celebrities, and much more. To try your hand at winning one of these amazing prizes, visit the firstgiving page here. Bidding has begun...now's the time to enter!