We’ve just experienced one of the most volitile years in recent memories (ok, remember I’m only 22), the fall(ing) of economy, the yo-yo-ing of gas prices, smashing of racial barriers, a man who would never make a very good Sopranos character (dude. what a lame mobster you’d make. seriously.) and holy Kato Kaelin! O.J. is finally in jail.
And with 2009 in just a couple of weeks, some are a bit apprehensive, not even daring to peek around the corner; And then some with the hope that the new year springs fresh energy and a clean slate.
However you feel and whatever your situation, you are damn lucky. You may be stressing out about your bills, but at least you’re not wondering when or where your next meal will come from.
Which is why I’m asking you to open your heart (and um yeah, your wallet too) and contribute to Chez Pim’s 5th Annual Menu For Hope Fundraiser, raising money to feed the hungry via the UN World Food Programme. Last year, we raised nearly $100,000 just from our food blogging community to support the school lunch program for the children in Lesotho.
This year, I’m proud to be the East Coast Host for Menu For Hope V.
Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by Chez Pim and a revolving group of food bloggers around the world. Five years ago, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired Pim 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 their choice. At the end of the two-week campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim.
December 15 through Christmas.
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.
Certainly not me, nor is it the other bloggers participating on the campaign. 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!
Check back on Monday to get the link to the donation site.
If you are a blogger:
Participate in Menu for Hope V by hosting a raffle prize or by promoting Menu for Hope on your blog. The prize you offer need not be of high monetary value, but it should appeal to your readership. A small rule of thumb we’d like to suggest is that each prize offered should have the potential to raise at least $200. That means, don’t offer a prize unless you are pretty sure you could get at least twenty of your readers to donate $10 for a raffle ticket toward that prize.
Please do not solicit prizes from restaurants or producers whom you do not know. A big part of our success in prior years came from the personal connections between bloggers, food producers/restaurateurs/authors, and the readers who donate to the campaign. Basically, if they know your name, it’s ok. If you pick up the phone and introduce yourself and the person at the other end of the line goes “huh?”, you shouldn’t be asking them.
Each blogger is also responsible for shipping their prize to the winning donor. Make sure you have enough in your budget to cover shipping. It’s important that you specify where your shipping area will cover when you offer the prize. Frankly, we prefer that you don’t restrict shipping area, but if you must, then please be very clear in your blog post so as not to confuse our donors.
Forward this post to all other bloggers you know so they can participate too.
If you are a restaurateur, author or food producers/sellers:
Consider offering your products and services as raffle prizes. If you have a corportate blog, you can host the prize yourself. If you don’t, find a food blogger to host your prize. If you don’t know any, contact me, I’ll see what I can do.
Come see the stunning list of prizes from LAST YEAR’s Menu For Hope IV to give you ideas for the type of prizes.
Europe *and* the UK
Sara of Ms.Adventures in Italy (email@example.com)
US: West Coast (If you are closer to SF than you are to NY then you belong here.)
Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites (firstname.lastname@example.org)
US: East Coast
Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen (email@example.com)
Meena Agarwal of Hooked on Heat (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand
Ed Charles of Tomato (email@example.com)
and, last but not least, our special Wine Blog Host
Alder of Vinography (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please submit the following:
If you’d like to participate, please send your prize information to your local host so that they can give you a prize code (important!) and more instructions on what to do for Monday. We need:
- What is your prize?
- Two images 75×75 thumbnail and 200x200px
- Short description of prize (50 words or less)
If you are a food blog reader or a food lover:
Go to Chez Pim on Monday December 15 when the campaign goes online. You can browse our amazing array of prizes by type, or find a prize near you by searching by region. Bid on as many prizes as you’d like. Buy raffle tickets as holiday gifts to your loved ones.
Help us help the WFP end world hunger.