Does freerice really give rice

Table of Contents

Will Hawkins/Digital Trends

This article is part of The Food Fight, a series that explores how the United Nations’ World Food Programme is using technology to battle food scarcity and put an end to hunger by 2030.

One in nine people — that’s 821 million — aren’t getting enough food, according to the United Nations’ World Food Programme. It’s a number that sounds overwhelming, but the WFP is trying to get kids — and adults — to see that they can help fight this problem in just a few minutes a day. The organization recently revamped Freerice, its quiz game that donates the equivalent of 10 grains of rice for each right answer players give.

Computer programmer John Breen created the game back in 2007 as a way to help is son with SAT words. Two years later, he donated it to the WFP. Since 2010, players have raised $1.39 million — the equivalent of around 200 billion grains of rice — playing the game.

“Two years ago, we picked it up again and we started working on it a bit more,” Alia Zaki, a Freerice community manager, told Digital Trends. “And so we completely redesigned it.” The relaunch includes a new site, as well as iOS and Android apps.

Gameplay is fairly straightforward; the questions are multiple-choice, and there are varying levels of difficulty. Players can choose from categories like languages (Spanish, Latin, French, Italian, Czech, and German), literature, multiplication, anatomy, and geography. There are both vocabulary and grammar questions to help people learn English. Some of the changes to the game include new categories, with questions on climate change and nutrition. It’s certainly no Trivia Crack, but it’s making an impact nonetheless.

Freerice/World Food Programme

“We’ve realized that a lot of teachers are using Freerice in the classroom,” Zaki said. It’s a way to quiz kids while also getting them involved in a worthwhile cause. The site makes money from display ads, which is then used in a variety of programs, including ones that provide school meals in South Sudan and Burundi.

WFP has already made some changes to Freerice and has plans to implement more in the future. While teachers can create groups where students can work toward a cumulative goal and vie for leaderboard status, Zaki says the WFP is looking for other ways to make the game more competitive. “We want to start introducing new direct challenges between users,” she said.

That’s what’s really exciting about this project. Even with the new updates, Freerice has barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with gamification. Just imagine what version 3.0 might be like. What if players could keep track of the total grains of rice they’ve accumulated and earn badges based on how often they play, or the number of correct answers they get in a row? What if you could challenge friends, or even set up tournaments?

The game has been chugging along for more than a decade, generating around $5,600 a month with its 620,000 players. With numbers like that, we can’t wait to see what a little more friendly competition does to fill those virtual rice bowls.

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Claim: Playing a word definition game at results in food being donated to the needy.

Origins: At, you can “donate” 10 grains of rice to the needy simply by choosing the right answer to a word definition problem.
Each correct answer results in another donation of

10 grains. is the creation of 49-year-old American computer programmer John Breen, and is the sister site of, launched in January 2007 with a counter showing one person dying of hunger every 3.5 seconds. Breen is no stranger to such programs, having created in June 1999.

As to who foots the bill for the food being donated, the site says: “The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen.” As more people play the game, the site racks up more advertising revenue, which in turn is converted into food donations for the hungry.

On 7 October 2007, the first day of the site’s operations, only 830 grains were donated. As of 9 June 2009, the number of grains of rice given away amounts to 65,307,213,570.

The rice is distributed by the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), an organization that in 2006 reached 87.8 million people in 78 countries.

Additional information:

Frequently Asked Questions (

Last updated: 9 June 2009

Devine, Miranda. “Online Word Test Is Food for Thought.”
The Sun Herald. 21 October 2007 (p. 55).

Heim, Joe. “What’s the Word? We Can Help Feed the Hungry.”
The Washington Post. 4 November 2007 (p. N2). Africa News. “Online Game Helps to Feed the Hungry.”
12 November 2007. Since 1994

Help Supercharge Snopes For 2020

We have big plans. We need your help. is a simple website that you’ll enjoy spending a few minutes on. It’s a word game, monetized by Cost Per Action affiliate ad links, with a social justice twist. Those are just the boring details, though, and it’s probably a scam.

The site asks you to define a series of words, with multiple choice answers, and ranks your vocabulary profficiency over time. The gimick is that for every word you define correctly, says it will donate the cost of 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program.

Is This For Real?

How does this happen? The big brand advertiser logos at the bottom of the page are paying for the rice, the site says. Those ads appear to be Cost Per Action ads from LinkShare. In other words, the ads only pay when the FreeRice visitor clicks through the ads and make a purchase. They pay quite well in those circumstances, though.

In order to track purchases, which aren’t made through the kinds of affiliate URLs you see from Amazon affiliates, for example, LinkShare puts a cookie from on your browser. I have no problem with cookies myself, I like them, in fact – but a quick look around the web indicates that many people find Linksynergy cookies distressing.

No Really, Is This For Real?

The site doesn’t appear to be officially affiliated with the UN at all, it appears to have been started by a man named John Breen. Breen launched the website early this year; it’s a bare bones shell of a website with a snazzy looking domain name. It could well lend legitimacy to any number of affiliate campaigns like FreeRice.

What’s the cost of a few grains of rice? Nearly nothing. Is it a worthwhile investment in exchange for pushing CPA ads at do-gooder word-nerds? It might be a great investment – it might be a scam.

Let’s say there’s 29000 grains of rice per pound (long grain white, per Producers Rice Mill) and let’s say a pound of rice costs 70 cents (that’s good rice, probably not what the UN is distributing). What’s the math? At ten grains per click, is donating 20 cents per 1000 clicks. Are they making more than that from these brand name CPA ads? I’m willing to guess that they are. If I’m getting the numbers wrong here, please someone let me know. At the very least, the site has an obligation to show us how much they are bringing in – not just how much rice they’ve donated.

One way or the other, it’s a fun site to spend time on. It’s probably also a money maker for the man behind it.


  • #web

Billion grains of rice donated to UN anti-hunger agency thanks to Internet game

An Internet game in which a website donates 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Programme for every vocabulary question answered correctly by participants has passed the 1 billion grain threshold after just one month of operations.

The amount donated by, founded by the United States fundraising pioneer John Breen, reached 1,008,771,910 grains yesterday, 32 days after the site was launched. That is enough to feed more than 50,000 people for one day.

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran hailed the FreeRice game as an example of how the Internet can mobilize millions of people worldwide to end want.

“Every grain of rice is essential in the fight against hunger,” she said, noting that hunger claims more lives than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

“FreeRice really hits how the Web can be harnessed to raise awareness and funds for the world’s number one emergency,” said the WFP chief, praising the site’s marketing success.

FreeRice relies on payments from companies that place advertisements on the site to underwrite its donations to WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency.

On 7 October, the first day of the site’s operations, only 830 grains were donated. But with the help of bloggers and social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook, the numbers have grown exponentially, and yesterday more than 77 million grains – or the equivalent of seven million clicks – was donated.

See the FAQ list on Freerice here.

Do I really make a difference by playing Freerice?

Yes. The rice you donate makes a huge difference to the person who receives it.

You and the thousands of other Freerice players have fed millions of people since the game launched in October 2007. If we all do a little we can achieve a lot!

Find out more Hunger Facts.

How does playing the vocabulary game at Freerice help me?

Learning new vocabulary has tremendous benefits. It can help you:

  • Better formulate your ideas
  • Write more effective papers, emails and business letters
  • Speak more precisely and persuasively
  • Comprehend more of what you read
  • Read faster because your comprehension improves
  • Get higher grades in high school, college and graduate school
  • Increase your scores on tests like the SAT, GRE, LSAT and GMAT
  • Improve your performance at job interviews and conferences
  • Sell yourself, your services, and your products more effectively
  • Be more successful in your job

After you have played Freerice for a while, you may notice a strange phenomenon. Words that you have never consciously used before will begin to pop into your head while you are speaking or writing.

How can I play other subjects, besides English vocabulary?

Click on the Subjects link near the top right of the page to see a list of all subjects available at Freerice. There is math, science, geography, art history, foreign languages and more. Freerice is working to add more subjects and expand material within each subject. Our goal is to provide knowledge that is useful and interesting for you.

Why are some questions repeated?

Whenever you get a question wrong, Freerice will repeat it a few turns later to give you a second chance at it.

Who pays for the donated rice?

The rice is paid for by the sponsors whose names you see on the bottom of your screen when you enter a correct answer. These sponsors support both learning (free education for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We thank these sponsors for their generous participation at Freerice. For information about how you or your company can sponsor Freerice, please email [email protected]

How do I start playing Freerice?

In the middle of the Freerice Home page you will see something like:

  • small means:
    • little
    • old
    • big
    • yellow

To play the game, click on one of the four definitions (“little”, “old”, “big” or “yellow”) that you think is correct. If you get it right, Freerice donates 10 grains of rice to help end hunger. In the example above, you would want to click on “little”, which means “small”. When you select the correct answer, you earn 10 grains of rice – your donation is automatically counted without any further action required on your part. You will then get a chance to play another question in the same way. You can play as long as you like and donate as much rice as you like.

To track the rice that you earn and to join/create groups, please sign up.

How does the Freerice program work?

Freerice has a custom database containing questions at varying levels of difficulty. There are levels appropriate for beginners and levels that will challenge the most scholarly professors. In between are levels suitable for students of all ages, business people, homemakers, doctors, truck drivers, retired people. everyone!

Freerice automatically adjusts to your level. It starts by giving you questions of increasing difficulty and then, based on how you do, assigns you an approximate starting level. You then determine a more exact level for yourself as you play. When you get a question wrong, you go to an easier level. When you get three questions in a row right, you progress to a harder level.

How is the difficulty level determined?

The program keeps track of how many people get each question right or wrong, and then adjusts each question’s difficulty level accordingly. So the questions at the easiest levels are the ones that people most often get right. The questions at the hardest levels are the ones that people most often get wrong. As more and more people have played the game, these levels have become increasingly more accurate.

What happens if my computer suddenly loses power while I am in the middle of playing? Does my donation still count?

Once your screen says that you have donated a certain amount of rice, our servers have registered it. For example, suppose your screen says that you have donated 120 grains of rice. If your computer then suddenly loses power, or you close your browser, or you click to go somewhere else, your donation has already been counted.

Where does Freerice get the word definitions from?

The word definitions for English vocabulary come from a wide variety of sources including dictionaries, thesauruses and books of synonyms. Each definition is double-checked and edited for accuracy. There are 60 levels of vocabulary with over 12,000 words in all, but it is rare for people to get above level 50.

How do you track the answers and rice donated for each person?

When you select an answer, this information is sent to one of our servers via a regular HTML form. This form is then processed by the server using the PHP programming language, which then is able to discern if your answer was correct. If so, it adds to both your personal rice total and the overall rice total. It then sends back an HTML page with new words and your new total as part of the next form.

If Freerice has the rice to give, why not give it all away right now?

Freerice is not sitting on a pile of rice. You and other Freerice players earn it 10 grains at a time. Here is how it works: when you play the game, sponsor banners appear on the bottom of your screen for every correct answer that you choose. The money generated by these banners is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.

Couldn’t I just write a computer program to play all day and give a lot of rice that way?

There are two problems with this. First, it overloads our servers so that real people can’t play and learn. Second, without real people playing and the resulting company sponsorship, no money would be generated and we could not give any rice at all.

Does Freerice make any money from doing this?

Freerice does not make any money from this. Freerice is a website committed to the cause of ending hunger around the world. It is run entirely for free and at no profit. All money (100%) raised by the site goes to the UN World Food Programme to help feed the hungry. Sponsors make all payments to the WFP directly.

What is the history of Freerice?

Freerice was founded in October 2007 by John Breen. In March 2009 Mr. Breen donated the site to the UN World Food Programme. In making the donation, Mr. Breen expressed his hopes that Freerice will be able to grow over the coming years, helping to feed and educate as many people as possible throughout the world.

Can you tell me more about the UN World Food Programme (WFP)?

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) distributes all of the rice that you donate to help fight hunger. It is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger and the world’s largest humanitarian organization, working closely with many other organizations in over 75 countries.

In addition to providing food, WFP helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good. Wherever possible, they purchase food locally to save on transportation costs and to help boost local markets. Find out more about how the rice is procured.

In what countries does the UN World Food Programme distribute the rice?

The UN World Food Programme works around the globe and Freerice donations are made with no restrictions. This freedom of use allows them to apply the donations to countries that need it most, often those that don’t make the headlines in the news, yet where chronic hunger continues unchecked.

Often World Food Programme is able to purchase the rice in the very countries where the beneficiaries are located, cutting down on the transport time to reach the hungry and helping to stimulate local economies at the same time.

Here are some examples of where Freerice rice has been distributed:

  • Cambodia: From June 2011, all rice raised on Freerice will go to Cambodia where it will be purchased locally and will support our school meal programmes there. It’s not the first time Freerice has supported Cambodia. We previously provided enough rice to feed 13,500 women.
  • Haiti: From January 2011 until May 2011, rice was allocated to Haiti. Nearly 6 billion grains of rice was donated, enough to feed nearly 300,000 people two meals for a day.
  • In Bangladesh, to feed 27,000 refugees from Myanmar for two weeks. Watch Freerice being distributed in Bangladesh.
  • In Cambodia, to provide take-home rations of four kilograms of rice for two months to 13,500 pregnant and nursing women.
  • In Uganda, to feed 66,000 school children for a week.
  • In Nepal, to feed over 108,000 Bhutanese refugees for three days.
  • In Bhutan, to feed 41,000 children for 8 days.
  • In Myanmar, to feed 750,000 cyclone affected people for 3 days.

How much rice does it take to feed a person for a day? How many grains of rice in a gram?

The composition of UN World Food Programme food basket varies from country to country and region to region, depending upon the eating habits of the people WFP feeds.

In countries where rice is a staple part of the diet, World Food Programme provides, on average about 400 grams of rice per person, per day (for families, including children and adults). That is intended for two meals that include other ingredients to ensure a minimum of 2,100 kilocalories per day.

There are about 48 grains of rice in a gram.

How does the food prices crisis affect Freerice?

The cost of rice per metric ton has more than doubled since the website’s inception. Given that Freerice players raise grains of rice, not dollars, this increase does not change the overall number of people fed.

However, Freerice donates the cash equivalent of the grains raised through sponsorships and donations, so rising rice prices means that Freerice has to raise significantly more money to pay for the grains generated by every correct click.

Why has the number of grains donated for each correct answer changed from 10 grains to 20 and then back to 10?

When Freerice started in October 2007, we gave 10 grains of rice for each correct answer. We were then fortunate enough to be able to increase this to 20 grains for 2008.

Unfortunately, we then had to decrease this to 10 grains again in January 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis and its effect on internet advertising. When the economic climate improves, we hope to be able to increase it once again.

How can I share Freerice with others?

Since Freerice’s strength is in the number of people using it, you can make a big difference simply by spreading the word about hunger through blogs or communities where Freerice exist like Facebook,Twitter and Youtube.

You can also help spread the word through World Food Programme’s networks on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

How can I make a donation to buy more rice for hungry people?

If you like, you can make a donation to the UN World Food Programme to help Freerice buy more rice to feed hungry people. If you are located in the United States please click here. Otherwise, please click here. If you would like to become a sponsor for Freerice, please email [email protected]

What is being done to end world hunger?

There is great progress being made to end world hunger. Many organizations across the globe are involved in this struggle. Each day, hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and women work for these organizations. Through their efforts, millions of impoverished people have food to eat, learn skills and find hope for the future. Find out more about how WFP is fighting to end world hunger.

What else can I do to help end hunger?

Here are three things you can do to help end hunger. All are free and easy to do.

  1. To learn how to take action in your community, click here.
  2. Add your name to the One Campaign, where several million people have already joined together as one to end hunger and extreme poverty. If enough people join, dreams for a better world can be made into reality very quickly.
  3. Twenty-two countries have joined together to try to raise enough money to end world hunger completely by each contributing 0.7% (less than 1%) of national income. Some of the countries have already met this goal. Others haven’t come that far yet. You can see how the countries are doing here. You can also print a letter to support your country’s participation here.

Where can I learn more about hunger?

One last important thing you can do to help end hunger is to become knowledgeable about it. A good way to do this is to visit WFP, or one of the many excellent sites listed here. We believe that when enough people around the world become knowledgeable about hunger, it will no longer be tolerated.

How do I create a group?

Here are the simple steps needed to create a group:

1. Ensure that you have registered yourself 2. Go to 3. Fill in the required fields 4. Upload an image by clicking on the upload button and navigating to where it is saved on your computer, double click the image 5. Choose if it is “open” (anyone can join) or “closed” (only those with an invite link can join) 6. Choose your subjects 7. Hit the “Create” button

If you created a “closed” group, you will need to send your potential group members an invite link. You can find this by going to your group profile, clicking “Edit” and clicking on the “GET INVITE LINK” above your members list.

To find your group profile, go to

If you are a teacher, creating a group for a class: Once you have your group created, you should register each of your students so that they have a login username and password (you can register up to 40 students if you register them as u/14 years of age). Give them the link to your group, and let them “Join”.

How do I find friends?

To add friends, go to your profile (, click on the option to “Edit your profile”.

Scroll down, above your Friends list you will see two options:

– A search box to search for friends already members on Freerice. Start typing their names, you can click on their name and choose to follow their activities on Freerice.

– A link to invite your friends on Facebook to join. You will still need to follow them on Freerice once they join using the search box.

You can also click on other Freerice player usernames and choose the option “Follow User”. This means that you will see updates in your Friends Activity list and see their ranking in your friends’ ranking list.

Players are not notified when you follow them.

How do I invite members join my group?

You can invite members through Facebook or by using the invite link.

To do this: 1. Login and go to group profile 2. Click “edit” and scroll down to the “Members list” 3. Click on the option to “Invite Facebook Friends” or “Get Invite Link”

Only registered members can join your group, so you will need to ask your friends and family to register first.

To invite members to join a “closed” group: 1. Login and go to group profile 2. Click “edit”, then click on “Get invite link”, 3. Copy and give it to the people you want to invite to your group by email, social networks or other means of communication.

Please note that you can only invite people to an “Invite only” group that you have created yourself.

How do I find my groups?

You can find your groups by hovering over the “Groups” tab and selecting “My groups”.

To find other groups, hover over “Groups” in the navigation tab, and then select “Find Groups”

Why should I sign up as a player on Freerice?

When you’re signed up as a player on Freerice you can: – track your totals permanently, – join and create groups, – share your results on Facebook and Twitter, – find and follow friends, – see your results in the ranking table, – let others see and be inspired by your totals.

Why does the total under the ricebowl drop to 0 when I log out?

When you log out, your cookie session is deleted – this means that your internet browser no longer remembers how many grains you earned during that session. However, you do not loose your overall total. This is stored permanently in your profile and all rice raised is stored permanently in the Freerice grand total.

Why would we do that? Freerice is used by many schools as an education tool. This means that students play Freerice on shared computers in their classrooms. When the lesson is over, they need to log out and allow for a new set of students to use the computers. If the browser session is not cleared, the new set of students would start playing with the same number of grains earned by the previous set of students.

However, if you are not on a shared computer, you can remain logged in and the grains raised during that session will be stored for 30 days. The total number of grains raised is stored in your profile view permanently.

Why does the layout of Freerice look so strange?

If you are using Internet Explorer 6, Freerice will have a very strange layout. We are currently not supporting IE6, as this version of the browser presents several unique challenges to layout and it is no longer used by the vast majority of players.

Upgrading your Internet Explorer browser to the latest version is easy to do – simply go to and click to download the latest version.

You may also find that Java-script is not enabled on your browser. To enable it:

  • If you are using Internet Explorer, click on “Tools” in your main toolbar, select “Internet Options” select the “Advanced” tab, scroll through the options until you find the Java category and ensure the item is ticked.
  • If you are using Firefox, click on “Tools” in your main toolbar, select “Options”, select the “Content” tab, and tick the option next to enable JavaScript.

If you continue to experience layout problems, please email us at

I have forgotten my login password!

To recover your password, simply go to and enter the email address that you registered with (this is very important). You will be emailed a link that you can click to reset your password.

If you are a parent with several children playing Freerice registered on your email account, you will receive links for all your children’s accounts. Ensure you select the correct account.

If you do not receive the email, please check your junk mail or spam folders.

Why Can’t I login?

Please check the following:

– that you are typing your password and username correctly – your username is not an email address – there are no spaces after or before your password

Note: usernames are case sensitive, so please use the same capital letters and spaces used while signing up.

If you are unsure of your username or password, go to and we will email them to you.

If you continue to struggle, please email us at wfp.freerice

I select an answer and nothing happens!

We have had the occasional player writing to us about this problem, however we are unable to recreate the problem and it seems to be affecting a limited number of players.

To investigate the problem would it be possible to email us, at wfp.freerice, the following information:

1. What internet browser you use and the version?

2. Do you use anti-virus software, and if so which?

3. What is your operating system?

4. What is your Internet connection type & speed?

5. Do you have JavaScript enabled or disabled in your browser?

6. Do you experience problems with other web-sites, or only with Freerice?

7. Does Freerice sometimes work for you, or never?

8. Was Freerice working fine for you in the past? If so, when was the last time it worked for you?

9. Do you get any kind of error message on the screen?

We appreciate your help in solving this problem.

How do I raise rice for a particular group

If you would like the rice you raise to be credited to a particular group:

– ensure that you are logged in – ensure that you are a member of the group – ensure that you selected to play for that group

How to select to play in a group: There are several ways you can do this… 1. Click on “Select a Group” in the player toolbar and click “Play” next to the relevant group 2. Go to “My Groups” and click “Play” next to the relevant group 3. Go to your profile, scroll down to “Top Groups”, and click on “Play” next to the relevant group.

Where does Freerice purchase its rice?

Freerice has a policy of purchasing rice from the same country to which the rice is allocated. This means that we not only save on the cost of transporting the rice, more importantly we also support the local economy. We are able, in this way, to help more people.

Does Freerice use British English or American English?

The large majority of Freerice players are based in the United States, additionally Freerice was originally built by a US citizen and later donated to the World Food Programme. For this reason, the English used on the site follows American grammatical rules.

However, in recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in the acceptance of variant spelling. For example, if you search for the word “somber” (US spelling) on the Oxford online dictionary, you will find: where it references the US spelling.

How do I upload a profile picture?

1. Login 2. Go to your profile page and click “Edit Profile” 4. Click “Choose file” next to the Profile Picture and browse to the image file on your computer 6. Ensure the file name does not include unusual characters 4. Double click the file or click “open” 4. Click “save” at the bottom of the page

Please note: if you registered as being under the age of 14, your profile will be limited to protect your identity. You will not be able to upload a profile picture or add a description, and can only edit your password.

Why doesn’t the pronunciation tool work?

Problems with audio can have many different reasons. Please find below instructions to deal with the most common ones.

– Make sure your headset or speakers are properly connected and turned on. Also check any volume controls.

– If you are using an external amplifier, make sure it is turned on and the volume is at the right level.

– Your speaker icon is normally displayed to the left of the computer clock. Click on the icon and make sure the volume is turned up, and the mute button is NOT checked.

– Check your audio settings. The sound files usually use the default Windows Media Player or a standard audio player on your computer. If you have altered your audio settings, the pronunciation tool files may not be recognized by an audio program on your computer.

– Restart your computer and try again. This often resolves software conflicts with other programs using conflicting audio settings.

– If you only hear some words, but most of the time can’t get audio, your Internet connection may be too slow.

– You may need to download or upgrade your Flash player. This is free and easy to

– Ensure that javascript is enabled in your browser settings.

– Ensure you have the latest browser version – upgrading your browser is free and easy to do. Google for your browser and the word “upgrade”.

How do I upload a group picture?

Once logged in, and either in the group creation page or on your existing group profile page:

1. Click the “upload” button next to “Picture” field 2. Browse to where the image file is stored on your computer 3. Ensure the file name does not include any unusual characters 4. Either double click the file or click “Open” 5. Click “save” at the bottom of the Freerice page, or continue editing the page

Does Freerice help the homeless?

Freerice provides meals to people who are hungry, and do not receive enough nutrition to lead healthy and active lives.

While some of those people may be homeless, many or even most do have homes. Hunger is not caused only by homelessness, but is often caused by natural disasters such as droughts or floods, political instability, high food prices, poverty and other triggers.

Why does my personal profile display more grains than in my group?

At the start of every session, you need to select to “play” for a chosen group. This is because many players are members of several groups, rather than just one group.

Every time that you login to Freerice, navigate to your group profile or choose a group from your list of groups:, and click “Play”.

If you do not do this, totals will count towards your personal profile but will not be counted towards any particular group.

Why can’t I see any subjects on the subject page (

Could you try: – upgrading your web browser, particularly if you use Internet Explorer. This is free and easy to do if you Google for instructions. – ensure that javascript is enabled on your computer

If the problem persists, please email us at WFP.Freerice

Why can’t I answer/see any questions?

Please try: – updating your browser to the latest version – ensuring javascript is enabled in your browser settings

My Freerice toolbar is not working…

The downloadable Freerice toolbar is no longer supported, due to ongoing bugs that we have been unable to resolve. We will alert Freericers, if and when it is reinstated.

In the meanwhile, if you would like to remove the toolbar from your computer, you can find instructions by Googling for your relevant operating system and the words “how to uninstall or remove programmes”.

Can I change my username?

You cannot change your username, this can only be changed by the Freerice team.

If you have a very good and urgent reason for needing to change the username, please [email protected] along with the reason, the username you need to change and the new username that you would like to use?

(PLEASE NOTE: as we are a small team with limited resources, we will only change the username if the reason is valid and urgent.)

How do I change my password?

If you cannot remember your details to login, you can request a username reminder / password reset link here:

How can I report obscene or inappropriate groups or profiles?

Freerice is used by a wide range of people including schools, homeschooling mothers and educators.

We are quick and careful to remove inappropriate content, if it is reported to us via email [email protected] with “Report inappropriate content” contained in the subject line.

Where is Freerice based?

Freerice is based at the United Nations World Food Programme headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Why is my total in group incorrect?

Only the totals viewed on your registered profile and below the “ricebowl” while playing are real time. Totals viewed on group profiles and elsewhere on the site are tallied every 24 hours. This is to ensure that the system is not overloaded.

As Freerice is located at the United Nations World Food Programme headquarters in Rome, Italy, the time zone is UTC +1. is a vocabulary/educational game which claims that “For each answer you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme to help end hunger.”
It’s worth playing; go ahead and give it a try. It starts out with really easy vocabulary:

and as you get them right, the difficulty increases:

For those of you who care, the correct answer was “binding.”

and there are some other subjects too, besides vocabulary (though the other subjects don’t seem to have as many levels of difficulty):

After playing for 10 minutes, I earned 1560 grains of rice.

So, is this legit? Are they really donating 10 grains of rice for each right answer?
Well, the short answer is no. No one is sitting there counting out 10 grains of rice as I click through the vocabulary questions. So the “You have now donated 1560 grains of rice” thing is not literally true.
Instead, Freerice donates the equivalent amount of money to the UN World Food Programme, which then uses it to buy rice and give it those who need it.
So even though it’s not literally true, it is legit. Snopes confirms this.
What is the UN World Food Programme?
Check out their website. The World Food Programme is a huge organization that works in 73 countries to provide food for those who are without it- either because of some emergency situation (war, natural disasters) or in cases where there is ongoing need (providing school meals, providing food for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, etc).
Seriously, I recommend clicking around on their website. There’s a lot of information there. This is important stuff to know- hunger affects 925 million of our brothers and sisters.
Where does the money come from? If Freerice has the money anyway, why do I have to play this game in order for them to donate?
The money comes from the companies who buy ad space on the website. They pay for pageviews and clicks- so no, Freerice does not have a pile of money just waiting. Freerice earns it from the advertisers as you click through the questions on the site.
Okay, so what difference am I making? How much rice is 1560 grains, anyway?
From some googling, I have determined that there are about 7000 grains of (uncooked) rice in a cup, and that it expands to maybe double or triple volume when cooked.
So my 1560 grains of rice translates into about 1/2 cup cooked.
According to , rice costs about $600 per metric ton (this is a much lower rate than what you pay for a 5-lb bag at the grocery store). Again, after some googling, I am finding that there are 15-50 grains of rice in 1 gram. We’ll use 30 grains for the math here.
My 1560 grams of rice costs 3 cents.
I mean, when you get tons of people playing this free rice game, it adds up… but I’m really not making that much of a difference.
Does this mean I have a moral responsibility to spend all my free time playing free rice?
No one should go hungry. I can’t imagine what that’s like. Giving other people food is more important than whatever else I’m doing with my spare time, right? Eh, no, I don’t think so.
As I just calculated, playing Freerice for 10 minutes donates 3 cents. So, that’s $0.18/hour. What’s minimum wage? Not that. If you want to help people, go get a real job and then donate from your salary. If your only goal is to get out there and change the world, then Freerice is a waste of time.
You should play Freerice if you like it. Personally I was entertained by it when I played- but not enough to come back and play every day. If it’s a game you think is fun, hey, go for it. But if you think it’s boring, then DUDE, don’t play, and don’t feel guilty about that. Donating a few cents is not worth sacrificing your spare time and doing something you hate.
I think this game is probably good for kids because it’s educational. I could totally see this being used by middle school or high school teachers. The kids learn stuff (from a bunch of different subjects) and you have the added bonus of feeding the hungry. Freerice is a pretty good idea for this context.
So I’ll leave my readers with this question: Anyone beat my 1560 grains of rice, playing JUST the English vocabulary game for 10 minutes?

10 Grains of Rice Donated for Every Correct Answer — Play, Learn, and Fight World Hunger with & the World Food Program

In a Nutshell: For many, making a difference by helping those in need is not only something we should do, but something we want to do. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same resources to offer — and some, none at all. When you have an empty wallet but a full heart, there’s A part of the United Nations’ World Food Program, Freerice offers users the chance to play a fun trivia game, increase their literacy in more than 21 categories, and help fight world hunger — all at the same time. Through the use of sponsored ads that generate a donation of 10 grains of rice for every correct answer, Freerice users have collectively donated more than 100 billion grains of rice since 2007.

As a long-time resident of Florida, I know all too well the impact a major natural disaster can have on a populated area; the destructive power of Mother Nature is profound. For countries without the comprehensive resources and infrastructure of the U.S., major forces of nature such as hurricanes and earthquakes can be catastrophic.

During times of crisis, we naturally want to reach out to those affected; often, we’re taught that the best way to make a difference is to give our money to a worthy cause. When struggling with a heavy debt burden, though, more often than not, our coffers are bare.

For a society that donates an average of around $300 billion to charitable organizations every year, not having the ability to contribute to important social causes can have a negative impact on personal morale. What people tend to forget, however, is there are many ways to help out — like using to help provide food to those in need.

Started in 2007 by philanthropist John Breen, who donated the site to the United Nations’ (UN) World Food Program (WFP) in 2009, donates 10 grains of rice every time a user correctly answers multiple-choice questions on a variety of topics.

While 10 grains a pop may not seem like a lot at first, it adds up quickly — especially with more than 806,000 people playing each month. In fact, Freerice users donate an average of 5 million grains of rice (approximately 185 pounds) through WFP every day.

“The dimensions of hunger and poverty are complicated and, I think, sometimes hard for people to wrap their minds around,” said Steve Taravella, the Senior Spokesperson in Washington for WFP. “Something like Freerice, which is easy to understand for most people, easy to use, has an element of fun, and generates learning — it’s win-win-win-win.”

Increase Literacy in Over 21 Different Subjects While Helping Someone in Need

When it comes to mindlessly addicting distractions, the internet has the gambit; between an infinite number of cat videos and the never-ending survey stream, there are plenty of things to click on online. But, why waste time watching Mittens play piano when you could be feeding the masses — and learning French?

Every trivia question you answer correctly on will result in a donation of 10 grains of rice to someone in need.

Freerice has over 21 subject areas, including chemistry and math as well as English vocabulary or foreign language skills. From geography to famous paintings, there’s a Freerice category for everyone to learn. The wide variety of educational resources has even made Freerice a popular website in the classroom.

“71% of Freerice users are in the 11- to 17-year-old age range,” said Taravella. “Many of them have played Freerice at school; a lot of teachers use the site to build student literacy. We hear from teachers from all over.”

Don’t let its popularity among the younger demographic fool you into thinking it’s just for kids, though; Freerice has dozens of difficulty levels in each category that will prove an educational challenge to just about anyone. (For instance, do you know the meaning of “imprecation”? I didn’t!)

So who actually funds all this learning and giving? Why, the eternal Ad, of course — sponsored advertisements. “The rice is contributed by the corporations who advertise on the page that appears when a user picks the right answer,” Taravella explained.

The sponsor donates directly to WFP, who uses all of the proceeds to fight hunger. “WFP doesn’t make any money off it; we use all of the funds from the corporate supporters to purchase the rice.”

Providing Food for Victims of Famine, Political Conflict, and Natural Disasters

When it comes to fighting world hunger, WFP is home to many of the experts; they’ve been helping feed those who can’t feed themselves for over 50 years. “We’re the folks who go in times of natural disaster or political conflict,” described Taravella. “Any kind of dramatic disruption in food distribution or access is a trigger for us to bring in emergency food.”

The donated food is transported at any given time to the areas in greatest need, like Haiti, where Hurricane Matthew destroyed broad areas of the country in October, or those affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. WFP also responds to political upheavals such as the violent war in Syria or the South Sudan.

“Where the resources go just depends on where, at that moment, the greatest need exists,” said Taravella. “It’s never just one country, or the same country all the time.”

The WFP is more than just disaster relief, though. “A huge amount of WFP’s work is our regular, ongoing, daily food distributions for people who live where there is insufficient food,” said Taravella. “We provide school meals for classrooms, where children will get one meal a day through WFP, and often, that’s the only food that child will get all day.”

In addition to responding to areas hit by natural disaster and political crisis, WFP helps feed children in areas where food is simply unavailable, like this school is Laos.

WFP’s program has been especially helpful in encouraging families to send their female children to school. “Many families are more inclined to send the boys to school if they can only afford to send one child, or a few children, and keep the girls at home to work,” explained Taravella. “But, if they know sending the girl to school will give her a meal a day, they’re much more inclined to send her.”

Improve Someone’s Life, One Grain at a Time

To date in 2016, Freerice users have helped contribute more than 2.9 billion grains of rice, which equals about 108,885 pounds of rice to those in need. If that doesn’t sound impressive enough, since its conception in 2007, has helped users donate over 100 billion grains of rice around the world — all while improving their own literacy in a variety of subjects, including hunger itself.

“For us, part of the benefit of this site is it helps people learn more about hunger, while raising their own engagement level,” said Taravella. “Hopefully, it will encourage them to maybe stay abreast of news around global hunger, or get involved in other ways.”

For all of our faults, one of humanity’s defining characteristics is the way we band together in times of crisis. When natural disasters — or man-made ones — strike, we feel compelled to contribute, whether we have the means or not. Thanks to venues like and the World Food Program, anyone can help make a difference for someone in need — regardless of age, employment, or financial ability.