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Menu for Hope: The Call for Prizes

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01 December 2009

Menu for Hope: The Call for Prizes

Menu for Hope 6

Did you leave the Thanksgiving table last week feeling stuffed?

How many us remembered how privileged that feeling really is?

Every year, in December, food bloggers from around the world gather their kindness in the form of prizes for Menu for Hope, an annual charity event organized by the force of nature at Chez Pim. Five years ago, the South Asian tsunami inspired Pim to pull together bloggers from the around the world, ready to give of their time and talents, to raise money for the victims. For the past five years, we have been donating baked goods, wine tours, photography classes, and great bottles of olive oil (and much, much more) to raise funds for the UN World Food Programme's Purchase for Progess campaign.

This year, I am honored and humbled to be hosting the west coast contingent of Menu for Hope. If you live west of the Mississippi, and you want to help give, start sending me email.

(And please be patient if I don't answer you right away. I have already been bombarded by compassionate folks wishing to give.)

So, if you are new to this, you may be wondering what this is all about.

Menu for Hope is a giant virtual raffle, essentially. Bloggers from around the world will be donating enormous baskets of delicious food or a pile of cookbooks or market tours through Paris. If you want to win one of them, all you have to do is donate $10 to the cause. Each $10 ticket gives you the chance to win a particular prize.

(You will donate in hopes of winning a specific prize. Sadly, you can't just donate and pick whatever you want!)

The more you donate, the better chance you have of winning. And of course, the more will go to Purchase for Progress.

And what is Purchase for Progress?

To quote 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.

This year, we are supporting a new initiative at the WFP called Purchase for Progress (P4P). P4P enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operation. P4P helps farmers improves farming practices and puts more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops. This will also help buoy local economy by creating jobs and income locally. We food bloggers understand the importance of buying locally and supporting our local farms, P4P helps do the same for farmers in low income countries around the world. More on P4P at"

We food bloggers are such a lucky lot. We have enough food on our tables that we can take the time to photograph it.

It's good to be reminded of that blessing. And give back to others, if we can.

(Plus, win prizes, potentially.)

Menu for Hope

What can each of you reading do to participate?

Well, most of you will probably read and decide on a prize and donate. That is the most important act. The more people who bid, the more money we raise, and the more farmers will be helped. Please, participate.

If you keep a food blog, and you'd like to donate a prize, thanks!

However, as much as we would love to have everyone who runs a food blog involved in this, each of the hosts would be overloaded with prizes, leaving no one to bid. If you believe that your prize could raise at least $200 for the cause (that's 20 of your readers donating $10 each), then by all means. Send in your proposed prize.

Again, if you live in the western half of the United States, and you would like to donate a prize, send me an email at glutenfreegirl[at]gmail[dot]com. Please tell me the name of your blog, a description of your prize in fewer than 140 words, and any shipping restrictions. Also, I need two images of your prize, both a 75x75 thumbnail and a 200x200px.

I will send you back a prize code, which will be the number readers will use to bid on your prize.

After I have sent you the prize code, put up a post on your blog, describing your prize, urging your readers to bid on it, and why. Then, send me the url for your post.

All emails about prizes you want to donate must arrive to me by the night of December 10th. (We won't be getting much sleep those next few days.)

I'll be collating everything together and putting them in an enormous post on Monday, December 14th. Come back that night for an encylopedic list of everything you could win. The raffle (and urging reminder posts) will continue until December 25th. Winners will be announced in January.

(Please do not post until you have received a prize code from me. Your prize will not be included in the raffle if you do.)

Clear? If not, please leave me questions here!

Here are your local hosts for this year's Menu for Hope:

US: West Coast (If you are closer to SF than you are to NY then you belong here.)
Shauna and Danny of Gluten Free Girl and the Chef (glutenfreegirl[at]gmail[dot]com) (that's us!)

US: East Coast
Helen of Tartelette (mytartelette[at]gmail[dot]com)

Europe *and* the UK
David Lebovitz (david.lebovitz[at]yahoo[dot]com)

Tara of Seven Spoons (tara[at]sevenspoons[dot]net)

Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand
Ed Charles of Tomato (gastrotom[at]gmail[dot]com)

and, last but not least, our special Wine Blog Host
Alder of Vinography (alder[at]vinography[dot]com)

Event Co-ordinator
Chez Pim
(any further information about the event or questions about financing go here)

Okay, whew. That is a lot of information.

Let's make it easy.

So many people need food. You can help. We can do this together.

Give. Bid. Enjoy.