The Annual Menu for Hope raffle raises money for the United Nation's World Food Program. The first Menu for Hope came into being as a response to the devastation caused by the Tsunami in 2004. This year the money raised will go to fund an ongoing school lunch program in Lesotho. In 2006 almost 63,000 dollars were raised and we hope to beat that total this year, so in order to encourage everyone to participate, the food blogging community has compiled an impressive and drool-worthy list of prizes ranging from sommelier services to free dinners at some of the world's most famous restaurants.
What do you get to do to be part of this exciting project? Buy as many $10 raffle tickets as you like, with a chance to win great prizes. Some that caught my eye include: A one night package at the Vermont Culinary Inn of the Vermont Culinary Institute, Edible Paris custom food itinerary (ticket to Paris not included), Dinner for two at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Four Indian cookbooks, with spice tin, spices, teas and assorted dals, a Cuisinart ice cream machine and David Lebovitz's ice cream book "The Perfect Scoop", among many, many others. Free wine tours, cooking classes in Umbria, Italy, exquisite chocolates and chances to meet famous food writers are some of the other prize options that you can choose from.
Remember that prizes are divided geographically, so unless you are planning to fly to London or Australia in 2008, you might want to pick prizes that are being offered in your region (especially if they are tours, free dinners, or chances to meet famous people in the food scene). Go to Chez Pim to get more information about this wonderful raffle, to check out all the great prizes that you can win, and to think about the ones that you want to pick. Once you have a list of preferred prizes in hand, head over to Firstgiving Menu for Hope to buy your raffle tickets. The Raffle only runs from December 10th until December 21st, so you have one week to buy your tickets and keep your fingers crossed.
Results of the raffle will be posted on Chez Pim on January 9th, along with information on how to claim your prize, if you are one of the lucky winners. Remember, the more you buy, the more money goes to the World Food Program's project in Lesotho and the better chances you have of winning!
To read some wonderful posts about this annual tradition check out these blogs. Desert Candy's Mercedes used to work for the World Food Program, and I highly recommend her article on the subject. You can also access a list of prizes in the region at each of the regional host blogs listed below:
- Desert Candy
- Habeas Brulee
- Smitten Kitchen
- David Lebovitz
- Homesick Texan
- The Passionate Cook (one of the two regional host blogs in the UK)
- Cook Sister! (the other UK host blog)
- Food Beam (the European regional host blog)
- Rasa Malaysia (the West Coast USA regional host blog)
- Serious Eats (the East Coast USA regional host blog)
- Kalyn's Kitchen (the Central USA regional host blog)
- Domestic Goddess (is hosting for the entire country of Canada!)
- Grab Your Fork (in charge of all of the Asia Pacific, New Zealand and the continent of Australia!)
- Vinography (the official sommelier for this event, go here to see all the wine-related prizes that Menu for Hope is offering)
Chez Pim and other organizers of the event also sent disposible cameras to Lesotho, which were given to locals with the request that they take some photos of their daily lives to share with the Menu for Hope campaign. You can check out the photos here: Lesotho photos
While unfortunately I am not offering a prize this year, I'll be bidding eagerly on some of the ones that other food bloggers have generously donated. I hope that you will join me-and keep an eye out in 2008, as Rice and Beans in DC will definitely be participating more fully in Menu for Hope V!