For those of you who have been hanging about in the wonderful world of food blogs for a while, Menu for Hope will not be unfamiliar. It is the food bloggers’ on-line fundraising event started two years ago by Pim and which was repeated with great success last year. In 2004, the first Menu for Hope took place in aid of victims of the Boxing Day tsunami in southeast Asia. By 2005, Menu for Hope II had morphed into an on-line raffle with bloggers donating some fantastic food-related prizes ranging from gourmet tours to exotic goodie baskets to food photography lessons. Menu for Hope II raised an astonishing $17,000 for victims of the Kashmir/Pakistan earthquake, but this year we aim to raise even more – and that’s where you come in.
This year, all money raised goes to the UN World Food Programme who, in 2005, distributed 4.2 million tonnes of food to 97 million of the world’s poorest people. As foodies, few of us can say that we haven’t been struck by the absurdity of sitting around discussing whether this foie gras is better than that foie gras, or whether we really like the taste of Douglas fir puree, when millions of people struggle to feed their children and have to fight tooth and nail for even the most basic foodstuffs. Although we realise it is only a very small drop in a very big bucket, Menu for Hope is the food bloggers’ way of giving something back to the greater commnity – and that’s a cause we can all throw our support behind.
So… how does it work?
1. Have a look at this year’s fabulous selection of prizes. Write down the unique code for each prize that you would like a chance of winning. The codes consist of two letters and two numbers e.g. EU02, UC11 or CA09.
2. Decide how many tickets you want to purchase at $10 each and then click through to the Menu for Hope III donation page (a secure site run by www.firstgiving.com – no food blogger ever gets a penny, the funds go straight to the charity).
3. Make a donation in multiples of $10. Each $10 ticket buys you one entry into the prize draw for a particular prize. You can spend, say, $50 and get five entries into the prize draw for a canapé party at your house; or you can split it into three entries into the canapé party prize draw and two entries into the prize draw for a South African cookbook and other goodies. What you do have to remember is to specify in the "Personal Message" section of your donation form which prizes you would like to be entered for. Please nominate to which prize draw each of your $10 tickets must be allocated, and make sure to use the two-letter, two-number format explained above (e.g. EU07, not just EU7).
4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the appropriate box on the donation form and fill in the information so that the charity can claim the corporate match.
5. Please make your email address available so that you can be contacted you in case you win a prize. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.
6. And on 15 January, do remember to check back at Chez Pim to see who has won what!
Just a few words on the prizes themselves… I will shortly be giving you more details on the two prizes with which I am involved, but I have looked at the list and there are some knock-out prizes. However, some of the prizes are linked to a specific location such as a meal in a particular restaurant (Manresa near San Francisco or L’Atelier Joel Robuchon in London), a gastronomy tour of Paris with David, a food writing course in Sydney or a catered canapé party in London. Please make sure that you will be in a position to claim such prizes, should you win them. Accommodation in and transport to/from/around the cities in question will be for your own cost, and some of the prizes can only be claimed during a specific period. So to avoid disappointment, make sure you carefully read the details of your chosen prize before you bid on it.
And to assist you in making sure you only bid on area-specific prizes you can get to, there are regional lists of the prizes in addition to Pim’s super-duper global list above. In addition to being the co-ordinators for their respective regions, these are also the people to contact should you still want to donate a prize.
US West Coast – Sam from Becks & Posh
US East Coast – Adam from The Amateur Gourmet
US (the big bit in the middle!) – Kalyn from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Canada – Jasmine from Confessions of a Cardamom Addict
Europe and UK – David From David Lebovitz
Latin America – Melissa from Cooking Diva
Asia Pacific/Australia/New Zealand – Helen from Grab Your Fork