New UN initiative aims to harness power of social media to fight global hunger

Credit: WFP

1 February 2012 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is launching a week-long campaign in which users of the popular online trivia game Freerice can recruit their friends to help bring food to the world’s most vulnerable populations.

World Freerice Week, from 6 to 11 February, will have as its theme “6 Degrees of Freerice,” according to a news release issued by the Rome-based agency, which is calling on Freerice fans to recruit six friends to join in the online fight against hunger.

“Imagine what we could achieve if we each invite six of our friends to help us donate rice to hungry kids. Freerice allows everyone to make a real-world impact with just the click of a mouse,” said Nancy Roman, WFP Director of Communications, Public Policy and Private Partnerships.

With each correct answer on Freerice, 10 grains of rice are donated to WFP to feed hungry people around the world, paid for by sponsored banners on the site. Players can choose from 45,000 questions in a range of subjects, including flags of the world, chemistry and literature, and in six languages.

Freerice currently has over one million registered players, who together have donated nearly 100 billion grains of rice to feed almost five million people since the game’s launch in 2007.

During World Freerice Week, players can create groups on Freerice.com that include “Freerice6” in the group title. Group founders can ask their friends to join and to each invite an additional six friends.

Prizes will be given to the group founders who have the most people in their group or whose group has donated the most rice, as well as to the individual who has donated the most rice during the week.

“Almost one billion people go to bed hungry every night,” said Ms. Roman. “With 6 Degrees of Freerice, we’re on our way to harnessing the power of online networks to make a difference in the fight against hunger.”


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