Introduction: How to Help End World Hunger From Your Living Room.

Picture of How to Help End World Hunger From Your Living Room.

How many times have you eaten your lunch or dinner and thought, boy, this is amazing? How many times have you skipped lunch and thought by dinner time, gosh, I am starving? How many times have you considered how not having enough food for a full meal each day would make you feel?

This is hunger. It happens all over the world, but mostly in the places most hit by poverty. Countries in Africa, Asia and Southern America where many people cannot afford housing, and set up shelters made from corrugated iron, only to find that the next day it has been demolished by another family, or even a business tycoon clearing more land. These people who are hit most by poverty usually can do very little about it, once you fall into poverty; there is a slim chance of getting out of it.

Poverty is one of the world's worst vicious circles- you do not have enough money to afford shelter or food what do you do? You work for the money. But what if there are no jobs you can do to earn money? What if you are a child unable to work? Who do you turn to then for the food that is one of lifes most basic requirements? You become ill, destroying all chances of work, destroying all chances of earning money, thus falling further into poverty.

Richer countries and companies have for years tried to find ways to combat this. Charities like Oxfam and Children in Need are set up in order to attempt to help out those who need help the most.

How many times have you wished there was something YOU could do to stop this?

Well now you can, in this instructable I will show you just how to do this.

Step 1: First Step

Picture of First Step

First of all, open up your internet browser, and type into the URL bar at the top:


Step 2: Step Two: Play the Game

Picture of Step Two: Play the Game

How to play the game:

1) Click on the answer that best defines the word.
2) If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.
3) For each word you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance etc...

Step 3: Step 3: Donate the Rice

Picture of Step 3: Donate the Rice

Now, you are playing the game, it is time for the rice to be donated. Don't worry, its simple. As stated before, for every correct answer you get, 10 grains of rice are earned, and the money is payed for by the sponsors at the bottom of your screen. The rice is then distributed by United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

"The rice is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The World Food Program is the worlds 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. Wherever possible, the World Food Program buys food locally to support local farmers and the local economy. We encourage you to visit the United Nations World Food Program to learn more about their successful approach to ending hunger."

Step 4: Step 4: the Benefits for You

Picture of Step 4: the Benefits for You

How does playing the vocabulary game at FreeRice help you?

Learning new vocabulary has tremendous benefits. It can help you:

Formulate your ideas better
Write better papers, emails and business letters
Speak more precisely and persuasively
Comprehend more of what you read
Read faster because you comprehend better
Get better grades in high school, college and graduate school
Score higher on tests like the SAT, GRE, LSAT and GMAT
Perform better at job interviews and conferences
Sell yourself, your services, and your products better
Be more effective and successful at your job
After you have done FreeRice for a couple of days, you may notice an odd phenomenon. Words that you have never consciously used before will begin to pop into your head while you are speaking or writing. You will feel yourself using and knowing more words.

These are just a few of the benefits. To see the full list, and other interesting facts about go to:


Step 5: Step 6: Who Pays?

Picture of Step 6: Who Pays?

Who pays for the donated rice?

The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We commend these companies for their participation at FreeRice.

Step 6: Why I Made This Instructable

Picture of Why I Made This Instructable

I made this Instructable because I am passionate about ending world poverty, more importantly I believe that all children should be born with a chance to survive, and succeed in life. After viewing statistics of how many children in these poverty stricken countries die before their first birthday, I decided that I wanted to do something about it. Research lead me to stumble upon FreeRice, and since then I have been playing, telling my friends and colleagues about the game, and spreading as much publication as I can about it. In schools, if 2 minutes of a ICT lesson was spent playing this game, in an average class of 32, just completing one level each would donate 320 grains of rice. Just the first round. Imagine the possibilities if every single person who had access to a computer and the internet surpassed the first level. I wish this were possible, and that is why I created this Instructable.

Now stop reading, comment if you wish, and play the game. Make a difference.

This was my first Instructable, thank you for any constructive criticism you may have, but more importantly, thanks for reading.


rptbandgeek1707 (author)2008-06-11

Would it be illegal/unethical to record the words used, and make a macro/bot for this site?

Taken verbatim from the FreeRice FAQ:
Couldn’t I just write a computer program to play all day and give a lot of rice that way?

There are two problems with this. First, it overloads our servers so that real people can’t play and learn vocabulary. Second, without real people playing and the resulting company sponsorship, no money would be generated and we could not give any rice at all.

But if we don't look at the ads, money isn't made anyways.

No don't do that. That would just ruin it. The idea is to get us all to ban together to help solve world hunger.

thinker (author)rptbandgeek17072008-07-24

i say
if you make one
comment me =p
i know a lot of people
with a lot of 24/7 comps and servers
and spare RAM that can be taken up by a small program

Elastometer (author)2008-05-19

Contact the 64 richest countries on the planet and buy a standard sized chess board from the £ or $ shop. Ask the country at the foot of the list to donate 1 single grain of rice and place it on the left hand bottom square. The next country on the list doubles this and places the grains on the next square - and so on. Divide the huge pile of rice to everyone who needs it. I don't have to go through the calculations but you've now got yourselves one serious pile of food - Work it out you'll be amazed. Before anyone comments - The rice won't fit on a standard chess board past about the 8th square!

V-Man737 (author)Elastometer2009-09-21

264 grains = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 (what is that even called?? Eighteen pentillion?)
that works out to 549,568,886,876 US tons.
Sushi, anyone?

(My initial response, at 1 in the morning, was "Approximately one elephant buttload.")

On seeing this Instructable, I was hoping for a more direct method of ending world hunger. I was reminded of the days when I'd refuse the vegetables my mom cooked for me, and she'd say something about kids in Africa starving. Smart-aleck me, I would respond with "So give them these vegetables and everyone will be happy."
But then, why not? Get involved in an organization that directly ships food to countries in the most need. Be the person who grabs that bag of rice from the shipping container and hands it to the citizen you're helping.

stitches22 (author)2009-03-12

thats awesome, benefits to everyone! now, in school, my teachers noticed stronger vocab, better math, better geography, science too! almost all major subjects are there! every day i donate at least 100 grains of rice per day! I fel great helping the poor!

amit_aggarval (author)2008-12-09

nice to see a website which helps us in building vocabularybuilding vocabulary as well as doing social work..

rikkdbomb (author)2007-11-11

there will always be world hunger. get over it. All the politics and international relations and isolation of wealthy areas are very complex, and I have sat here for 10 minutes attempting to explain it succienctly, but let it be said so: as long as there is a man pampered in a fancy skyscraper spending hundreds of millions on things he doesn't need, there shall be thousands of improverished people working for almost nothing. And there will always be multi-millionares. There always have been. They were emperors, kings, prime ministers, popes, princes, and now they are presidents, CEO's stock market traders, etc. note: I do not mean to offend.

jess60 (author)rikkdbomb2008-10-23

you're not being offensive, you're being honest, but you can play the game, remember what it was like when you were 6 and playing games, the world didn't seem so big and black and awful.

Aquilla (author)rikkdbomb2007-11-15

Compare: There will always be smallpox. get over it.

Zodiac58911 (author)Aquilla2007-11-15

Aha yes, but thered is a cure for smallpox. So thus you are congratulating the cause.

Aquilla (author)Zodiac589112007-11-17

That's my point, I do believe that famine can be prevented. I might equally have said Compare: The world will always be flat, get over it. But I don't believe reactive action such as buying grains of rice after famine already is happening will be key in preventing it. That said, I don't think it will hurt either, so yeah, count me in. (Though to be precise Smallpox is eradicated, not cured. Some types of smallpox were nearly invariably 100% fatal according to Larry Brilliant on that TED prize video, but this is getting off the point.)

Zodiac58911 (author)Aquilla2007-11-18

Oh ok, sorry for my misinterpretation. You have a point about prevention, but as mentioned by bowakowa, we may one day use technologies which may wipe out famine and poverty all together.

bowakowa (author)rikkdbomb2007-11-12

I would like to brighten your day by disagreeing with you. I believe technologies exist that the populace can implement on their own to begin to make a change in food production for themselves. A byproduct of this will be noone working to continue to fill the pockets of kings, ceos, stock market traders, etc. We will all work for ourselves in the future, imho. A direct meritocracy, if you will. Huzzah!

Zodiac58911 (author)rikkdbomb2007-11-12

Your comments are true, rikkdbomb, however that does not mean that the average man cannot try and help aid the impoverished.

iraqniphobia (author)rikkdbomb2007-11-12

Just because it's "inevitable" doesn't mean you can't take the time and do a bit of help.. It may always be there, but that doesn't mean we can't alleviate it some.

Zodiac58911 (author)iraqniphobia2007-11-12

Thanks for your comments, iraqniphobia :)

Zodiac58911 (author)rikkdbomb2007-11-11

But this will help at least some people get off their feet, with little effort from many. The saying goes- many hands make light work.

A good name (author)2008-07-28

Having a larger vocabulary does not dictate the wholeness of emails or letters and such. Some people do not understand bigger words (I have quite an extensive vocabulary and I found this game had words that you had to pretty much guess at) I think the funnest part of the game is seeing who can donate the most!

casey321b (author)2008-05-22

now they donate 20 grains a question reather than 10

DannyboyINXS (author)2008-03-29

aww i thought the top diagram (showing the world) would have mexico as a darkish orange.... after all isnt mexico the employment office of the US? lol, i know thats mean, but just think about it.... surely they would have a lot more poverty than what is actually shown.... when were these stats done?

mctylr (author)2007-12-17

Correct link:

enthusiusm (author)2007-11-24

Thank you so much you r very kind I think at least i can help by doing something instead of sitting still --let them serve their fate.

mcadwell (author)2007-11-23

I just donated a hair over 2000 with an average of level 43. Now my head hurts (it's too late at night to be thinking like that!) The is also another place to help people.

mcadwell (author)mcadwell2007-11-23

Methinks I must update my profile. What I just posted said it was 11:55pm but it's 1:55pm where I am.

mcadwell (author)mcadwell2007-11-24

Alright, I can't figure it out. Somebody smart tell me how to change my time zone please. (told you my head hurts)

Babyshoes (author)2007-11-11

Any idea how many grains of rice in a kilo? Donating 7000 odd grains of rice seems like a lot, but is that enough to feed a child for a day? How many grains of rice will it take to feed a person for a week? A month? A year? If anyone feels like working it out, let me know!

iraqniphobia (author)Babyshoes2007-11-12

It takes 10000 grains a day. So 70,000 280000 3,650,000 It's 1000 correct questions to feed one person for one day. (For a full 2000/day calorie intake)

nagutron (author)iraqniphobia2007-11-12

There are 37 grains of rice/gram. So, 37000/kilo. Wholesale rice prices are around $25/kilo, so your hourly rate is not going to be super high :) The point of the site is to raise awareness and increase your vocabulary. Now, it would be nice if they could negotiate with their advertisers to get a much higher rate.... As for the likelihood that "there will always be world hunger", well.. maybe. But our collected efforts thus far are the reason world hunger isn't terribly worse than it is, and our continued efforts will hopefully reduce it in the future. "Getting over it" is just another way of being apathetic, which makes one part of the problem, IMHO.

Sinner3k (author)2007-11-11

I have to agree that this is an "Ad-structible" that I can get behind. I just sent an email to some friends to spread the word about this game. I got up to level 42, but I tended to stay around 37-39 while watching football. Improve your vocabulary and help others? Win-win!! -S3k

Kiteman (author)2007-11-10

Wow, here's a first - an advertising 'ible I approve of! Well done, that man!

Zodiac58911 (author)Kiteman2007-11-10

Thanks for your comments Kiteman. I've seen your comments all over the place, and I must say, usually they confound me. :)

Kiteman (author)Zodiac589112007-11-11

Confound? How so?

Zodiac58911 (author)Kiteman2007-11-11

Some quite complicated language- some of it quite technical. :) Seen more often in more technical Instructables of course. :)

Kiteman (author)Zodiac589112007-11-11

OK - I do try and keep my language / vocabulary relevant; if the reader can deal with more complex vocabulary, it makes life easier for us both.

Zodiac58911 (author)Kiteman2007-11-11

Yes yes, I do understand your vocabulary after looking up the more complicated words in a dictionary, its just that with some of the more technical Instructables involving chemicals and what-not, I get quite confused. Don't change it- It was just an observation than a less intelligent entity. :)

Zodiac58911 (author)Zodiac589112007-11-11

*It was just an observation made by a less intelligent entity. :)

Kiteman (author)Kiteman2007-11-10

Fun site - I think I'll tell my pupils.

Kiteman (author)2007-11-11

The BBC have picked up on this as well:

Patrik (author)2007-11-11

2000 grains - think I'll call it a night. Made it up to level 50 for a while, but that didn't last too long! :D

Patrik (author)2007-11-11

Doh - only made it to 190 grains before it stumped me. "Epode" is what got me... :)

JaqMs (author)2007-11-11

Title should be "How to relieve world hunger". The only way to end it is to make the poor self-supportive.

Zodiac58911 (author)JaqMs2007-11-11

Good point, although that is the reason I included the word "help" in the title. :)

Zodiac58911 (author)2007-11-10


Sure, I bet if everyone donated a dollar there would be alot of rice for the poor. But if you hit up the "totals" page here:

You will see that 1,072,025,720 (over a billion) grains of rice isn't bad either. Thanks for your comment though- it made me consider my argument.


Perhaps you could sned an email in asking for a foreign version? That would be pretty cool too, improving our foreign vocabulary as well as enabling the game to be played by foreigners who cannot speak English!

gschoppe (author)2007-11-10

just a question, how many grains of rice can be bought for a dollar? how long would you need to play this game to match that dollar donation? how much does the freerice site get off of each pageview... factor in pageviews with incorrect answers... how much of their profit goes into rice? i haven't been to the site, so these are serious questions... for all I know, they could be the most selfless people on earth.

gschoppe (author)gschoppe2007-11-10

BTW I just hit level 50 with "Burgee" ... thank you NPR, you finally did SOMETHING for me. p.s. yacht flag

shooby (author)2007-11-10

Sadly, the companies sponsoring can afford to do so because people will always shell out more clams for tech gadgets, gasoline, etc than they will to the poor.

shooby (author)shooby2007-11-10

But still a great idea.

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