Menu for Hope V launches Monday

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In case you haven’t heard, our annual Menu for Hope begins again next Monday. 

You don’t know what Menu for Hope is? What, you’ve been living in
the mountains somewhere, cut off from the food blog world? Well, fret
not, here’s a list of frequently asked questions to answer your every
query. Read it and join us! (If you’re on Facebook, join us there too.)

What is Menu for Hope?
When will this year’s campaign take place?
Who is the beneficiary of this year’s campaign?
Who collects the money?
How can I help?
 
I’m a blogger
  I’m a restaurateur, author or food/wine producer/seller
  I’m a food blog reader or a food lover

Frequently Asked Questions

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,
raising funds to support worthy causes worldwide. In 2007, Menu for Hope raised nearly $100K to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry.

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 15 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.

With the success of last year’s campaign to support the school lunch program in Lesotho, we are going to continue our support to the same program.  During the duration of Menu for Hope V, we will be posting updates from the kids and the farmers we supported this past year.

If you weren’t around  last year for Menu for Hope 4, let me explain a bit about why we are supporting this particular program.  We chose to support the school lunch program because providing
food for the children not only keeps them alive, but keeps them in
school so that they learn the skills to feed themselves in the future.
We chose to support the program in Lesotho because it is a model
program in local procurement – buying food locally to support local
farmers and the local economy. Instead of shipping surplus corn across
the ocean, the WFP is buying directly from local subsistent farmers who
practice conservation farming methods in Lesotho to feed the children
there.

Who collects the money?
Certainly
not me, nor is it 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 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!

Check back on Monday to get the link to the donation site.

How can you help?

If you are a blogger:
Participate
in Menu for Hope V by hosting a raffle prize or by promoting Menu for
Hope on your blog. 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

Europe *and* the UK
Sara of Ms.Adventures in Italy (sara.rosso@gmail.com)

US: West Coast (If you are closer to SF than you are to NY then you belong here.)
Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites (matt.armendariz@gmail.com)

US: East Coast
Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen (jaden@steamykitchen.com)

Canada
Meena Agarwal of Hooked on Heat (meena@hookedonheat.com)

Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand
Ed Charles of Tomato (edcharles@mac.com) 

and, last but not least, our special Wine Blog Host
Alder of Vinography (alder@vinography.com)

If you’d like to participate, please send your prize information (plus two images 75×75 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 me,
I’ll see what I can do.

If you are a food blog reader or a food lover:
Come
back to Chez Pim on Monday December 15 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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  • http://www.gastronomicfightclub.com/ Derek

    Did I miss the lead up to this? I kind of forgot about it. I’ll see what I can scrounge up for the raffle. Thanks for organizing once again.

  • http://cookingwithamy.blogspot.com/ Amy Sherman

    Please change the date in your post, it currently says “Come back to Chez Pim on Monday December 10 when the campaign goes online.”

  • http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com Mar

    I love the “Europe *and* UK” note… Reminds me of the 19th Century Times headline that went “Fog in the channel, continent isolated”.

  • http://www.untoccodizenzero.it sandra

    Pim!I’m ready.. :) )

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com veron

    Great! I’ve sent my prize to Jaden!

  • http://not-a-foodblog.blogspot.com Vincci

    Random dilemma: My blog is technically Canadian, but I’m going to be in Hong Kong through till the end of January. So if I end up scrounging up a prize, who would be my host?

  • http://winefornewbies.net/ Bill from Wine For Newbies

    I’m thrilled to be able to participate again this year!

  • http://www.sergetheconcierge.com Serge Lescouarnec

    Pim
    Good to see the details on Menu for Hope 5.
    I just contacted Jaden to let her know that I am in.
    Finalizing my prizes
    Less chocolate this year
    Serge the Concierge
    ‘The French Guy from New Jersey’

  • sam

    The UK is part of Europe. Perhaps the *and* could be changed to *including* for all those people who still haven’t got the memo yet?

  • http://www.zoebakes.com Zoë François

    This is absolutely fabulous! I would love to donate a copy of the book I co-authored, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. How do I become a host?
    Thanks, Zoë

  • http://www.melbournecoffeereview.com Steve Agi

    The Melbourne Coffee Review is proud to be invited and involved, AWESOME PRIZE coming your way, valued at over $600 AU
    ..because life is too short to drink bad coffee…..
    The CaFFiend!!

  • http://lunchinabox.net Biggie @ Lunch in a Box

    This is perfect — a company sent me hundreds of dollars worth of cute bento boxes that I can’t keep because of my product reviews policy. Donating them to charity is a win-win.

  • http://foodblogs.24.com/wotsforlunch Nicola

    Is there a local host for Africa? South Africa in particular. If not could you please tell me which local host I should send my info to if I would like to submit a prize.

  • http://nikkitaly.blogspot.com Nikki D’Agostino

    Got my blog ‘FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD’ up and ready on my site!
    Glad I can help and think the program is a fantastic idea!

  • http://onewallkitchen.blogspot.com Juie

    Oh, hooray! I was afraid you wouldn’t be hosting it this year, so I’m very glad to see this announcement!

  • Pink Sky

    Yay!!! :) Thank you so much for your work on this. I love the WFP as well, it’s one of my favorite charities.

  • http://web.mac.com/jaibone/Site_2 jai carney

    I’d donate or participate if the money was going to help those in THIS country who need it. I’m all about the world, but right now we need to be caring for our own. Times are tough and there are hundreds of thousands of people here in the US who need our help.

  • Sil BsAs

    Can we south americans participate? I don’t see how…

  • http://cookbookcuisine.blogspot.com Gloria Chadwick

    Count me in. I’d like to donate a copy of my book, Recipe for a Cookbook. :)

  • Joe

    What a great project! It looks like past year’s donations were tax-deductible in the US. Is that true this year as well?

  • http://a-perfect-bite.blogspot.com rushina

    I live in India and blog a . I would like to give away a prize. Whom do I contact?
    Rushina

  • http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/ sam

    “December 15 through Christmas” what does that mean? Can I still bid on Christmas day? I can’t find a closing date/time anywhere.

  • Susan

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Susan

  • http://www.mylarstoreonline.com Lisa Marie

    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.

  • joanna

    good luck to all, first time on this blog.

  • http://www.asiarooms.com/ Sujan Patricia

    I just thought its really inspiring how people go out of their way to do something for the causes they deem worthy. In fact, these food bloggers linked their love for food and their wish to help in any way they can in a dynamic campaign.
    My Hat is off to you. Thanks.

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    thank you for comments

  • http://www.tiffanyfree.com/tiffany-pendants.html Tiffany Pendant

    Well!!! I thought I always made the best chicken soup until now. I followed your recipe to a T except I did add a qt of Wolfgang Pucks chicken stock (sorry – I just can’t break away from the stuff) I loved the touch of curry but I believe the secret to your recipe is the bones! Never have I ever extracted so much flavor in my soup. I’m a believer. I also agree about the fat. I only skimmed the foam but left the fat – something I’ve been always told to do but NO MORE! This soup has so much flavor I believe it is better than restaurant quality. Thank you so much for posting it. Now I’m gearing up to make your awesome Pad Thai now that I have all the ingredients bought.

  • http://www.yourchoicevending.com.au Vending Machines

    I love your blog its refreshing