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Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu for Hope 6 - call for participation

 P4pmain

Yes, it's that time of year again.  We are now preparing for our annual Menu for Hope, this year it's Menu for Hope 6, or Menu for Hope VI, whichever you prefer.  I can hardly believe it's been six years that we've been at this, and our fourth year now in partnership with the UN World Food Programme.  As always, Menu for Hope cannot exist without your help, see if you can lend a hand?

Frequently Asked Questions

MFH6logo What is Menu for Hope?
Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by me and a revolving group of food bloggers around the world.  Five years ago, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired me to find a way to help, and the very first Menu for Hope was born. The campaign has since become a yearly affair.  For the past three years, Menu for Hope raised nearly a quarter of million dollars in support of the good work of the UN World Food Programme, helping to feed hungry people worldwide.

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.

When will this year's campaign take place?
December 14 through Christmas. 

Who is the beneficiary of this year's campaign?
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 http://www.wfp.org/purchase-progress.

Who collects the money?
Certainly not me, nor 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 (tax deductible) 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!

How can you help?

If you are a blogger:
Participate in Menu for Hope VI by hosting a raffle prize or by promoting Menu for Hope on your blog.  Please contact the MfH host in your area (the list is below) to obtain a prize code and be listed on the official Menu for Hope prize list.  (Important: please do this before you list your prize on your blog, unrecognized prizes will not be added to the main list.) 

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.

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 of Gluten Free Girl (glutenfreegirl[at]gmail[dot]com)

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

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

Canada
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)

If you'd like to participate, please send your prize information (plus two images 75x75 thumbnail and 200x200px) to your local host so that they can give you a prize code (important!) and more instructions on what to do for Monday.

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 Pim (chezpim[at]gmail[dot]com) or the local host in your area.

If you are a food blog reader or a food lover:
Come back to Chez Pim on Monday December 14 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. Just come back and check us out on December 10. Help us help the WFP end world hunger.

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