We are in the home stretch for Menu for Hope and I’m thrilled to say that the money is rolling in. Just like raindrops filling a swimming pool, those individual $10 donations have mounted up and as of today, the total stands at just
over $42,000 under $50,000! We still have 3 2 more days of ticket sales to go, so with a little extra push from you, I’m sure we will reach and breach last year’s total.
Have you looked at the wonderful pictures taken by children in Lesotho that Pim posted? It’s all fun and games over here with our raffle, but remember that these are the people that we are ultimately helping, and who need your support. One of the best things about this year’s campaign is that the World Food Programme will not merely be importing food for people who need it. Instead, they have struck a historic deal which sees them buying surplus maize from 20 small-scale farmers in Lesotho, which is then distributed by the WFP. In fact, in Tebellong the WFP brough 8 metric tones of maize from these farmers for $2,800 – a gigantic sum in a country where more than a third of the population survives on less than $1 per day. The deal means an immediate and life-changing cash injection into the farmers’ lives, but is also laying the groundwork for a viable market for the farmers’ produce, giving them a real incentive to grow as much maize as possible in the years ahead and alleviate the country’s hunger problem. Read more about these farmers and the programme on the WFP site.
Now that’s all fine and well, but I also know that some people are saying "I’m not buying a ticket because I know I’ll never win".
Because today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Some of the prizes have obviously been flooded with bids (like the Heston Blumenthal lunch). But others are perhaps a little less glam and ticket sales have been slower. What would you say if I told you you had a 10% or greater chance of winning a prize? Surely those are good odds for a betting man (or woman!)? So if you have still not bought a ticket, or are thinking of having another whirl, here are your best bets for sure-fire or near-sure-fire winning tickets. Based on ticket sales as of now, here are your chances of winning:
FOR £5, YOU CURRENTLY HAVE…
A 100% chance to win:
* Your digital portrait retouched to make you look as glamorous as Angeline Jolie… or Brad Pitt. Check out their gallery to see the incredible difference this makes to pictures.
* Dinner or lunch cooked for you and a friend/partner in your very own home in London by the crazy duo from Crash Test Kitchen (provided you aren’t an axe-murderer…!)
* an Indian cookbook and a spice kit to replicate authentic Keralan cuisine in your own kitchen. I have had Padmaja’s cooking and believe me, this lady can cook!
A 50% chance to win:
* a second Indian cookbook and a spice kit to replicate authentic Keralan cuisine in your own kitchen. I have had Padmaja’s cooking and believe me, this lady can cook!
* an i-Car novelty MP3 speaker system – the perfect gift for the teenage boy (or overgrown teenage boy!) in your life
* an authentic Nigerian egusi stew recipe and spice kit, perfect for homesick African friends abroad, or for impressing your dinner guests
* an organic chocolate hamper from the Natural Collection. I mean, come on – £5 does not get you more than a couple of bars of cheap chcolate, whereas this is a hamper of the good stuff!
* a cooking class from the lovely Jennifer at Eat Drink Talk. Have you seen the class schedule?? Moroccan, Indian, Thai, gastropub cooking… it all looks fantastic! Think what you might be missing…
* for the lazy baker, a whole box of home-made British cookies. And not a single pot or pan to wash
* a hamper of true blue English teatime treats including tea from Fortnum & Mason. The perfect gift for the Brit in your life!
A 33% chance to win:
* another gift box of authentically English treats tor homesick expats – or just to treat yourself!
* another cooking class from the lovely Jennifer at Eat Drink Talk. Have you seen the class schedule?? Moroccan, Indian, Thai, gastropub cooking… it all looks fantastic! Think what you might be missing…
* for those who like surprises, a gift box of London treats, sourced from all the best markets where those in the know pick up their goodies
* a hamper of goodies whipped up in Johanna’s amazing Thermomix mixer, including cream liqueurs, chocolate cookies and Parmesan shortbread
* for the amateur vintner, a rare and out-of-print classis book on making your own wine. Now THAT’S grow-your-own I could get into!
* a bottle of award-winning English sparkling wine for that special celebration
A 20% chance to win:
* a seasonal cookbook and a goodie basket of Hampshire local foods
* a bottle of single-malt, 15 year-old Dalwhinnie Scotch whisky – this will certainly keep out the cold on those long winter nights!
* for all those daring bakers out there who have yet to try their hand at classic sourdough, a sourdough starter kit with flours and recipes
* for all those who dream of the Alhambra (or the Retiro, or the Sagrada Familia!), a paella-making kit and recipes
A 16% chance to win:
* your choice of one of five original food photos from me! Just think: millions of people own Monet prints, but how many own a CookSister original?!
A 14% chance to win:
* for aspiring chefs, a one-day stage at acclaimed London restaurant Bacchus with chef Nuno Mendes, plus dinner in the restaurant afterwards
An 11% chance to win (and these are the prizes I can’t believe people haven’t snapped up in droves):
* a unique custom-designed wedding (or other special occasion) cake made to your specifications and delivered anywhere in London or South-West England. And this is not just any cake – just look at these!
* a private wine tasting for you and 7 friends, hosted in your home and according to your theme of choice, to the value of £80
* a generous hamper of authentic Italian delicacies, straight from Bella Italia
* a personalised and guided foodie tour around the markets and culinary hotspots of gastronomic capital London
A 10% chance to win:
* a pair of authentic Irish cookbooks, including the Ballymaloe Cookery Course from the famous culinary school of the same name
* a copy of the National Association of Indian Women cookbook, given to Indian brides, students and batchelors to guide their culinary development for decades, and unavailable outside India
Given that the odds of winning the UK Lottery with all six numbers is 1 in 13,983,816 (or 0.0000071%!), and the overall odds of winning ANYTHING on the Lottery (including the lousy £10 that you get for getting 3 numbers) is 1 in 57 or 1.75% – those are pretty good odds I just gave you!!
So if you hate gambling but love winning, this just might be your lucky day on Menu for Hope. But as they say, you gotta be in it to win it.
So go and donate your money and buy your tickets on the donation site. You only have today and tomorrow left…