Can you believe it's December already? It seems like just the other day that I was packing up the Christmas tree from last Christmas and here we are again. is this planet on fast forward or what? And if it's December, then it must be time for Menu for Hope.
The Menu for Hope event is the brainchild of Pim and takes place once a year around Christmas. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the campaign involves food bloggers (and others) from around the world each donating something to be raffled off on-line for charity. This can be as simple as a cookbook or as elaborate as a foodie tour of a world-class city. And at the end of the raffle, winners are chosen at random using a software application, after which the regional hosts will tell people the good news of what they have won.
Does this raise a lot of money, I hear you ask? Oh yes – just over $60,000 last year! And what happens to the money? Well, like last year, the money will be going to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and this year's campaign is going to support 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 – so your donation will help both to assist these farmers and feed the hungry.
And how can you help?
If you are a blogger, you can participate in Menu for Hope 6 by by promoting Menu for Hope on your blog. Promoting Menu for Hope is really easy – just pop over to Pim's blog and save the logo, then upload it to your own site. Ticket sales kick off on 14 December, so please try to remind your readers regularly from the 14th until the end of the raffle.
If you are a blogger or producer/restauranteur/author and want to donate and host a raffle prize, please contact the MfH host in your area (the list is below). The host will then allocate a prize code to you and list your prize on the official Menu for Hope prize list. When you post about your prize on 14 December, you must make sure that this prize code is included in your post so that your readers know what prize code to use in order to bid for your prize.
Here is more advice from this year's Europe & UK host-with-the-most David Lebovitz:
"The prize you offer need not be of high monetary value, but it should appeal to your readership. We are suggesting that each prize offered should have the potential to raise at least $200. In other words, please don't offer a prize unless you are pretty sure you could get at least twenty of your readers to each 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."
Please feel free to forward this post on to all other bloggers you know so they can participate too.
The regional hosts for this year's Menu for Hope are:
- 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)
- Wine blog host – Alder of Vinography (alder[at]vinography[dot]com)
If you'd like to participate, please send the following to your local host:
- a short description (one paragraph) of the prize and URL to your site; and
- two images/logos of your prize, sized 75×75 pixels and 200×200 pixels respectively).
Your host will then send you you a prize code and more information on how to participate, as well as instructions to post about your prize when the raffle goes live on 14 December.
If you are a food lover or food blog reader, visit Chez Pim on Monday December 14 when the campaign goes live. You can browse the 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, or to yourself.
Please help us end world hunger!