Sunday, December 21, 2008

Menu for Hope V: ‘Tis the Season to Make a Difference

A few people have asked me why I didn’t participate in this year’s edition of A Menu for Hope. Truth is, as lame an excuse as it is, the event snuck up on me during the thick of the seasonal crunch and I just didn’t have the wherewithal to put everything together in time. Add to that the fact that I’ve been a holiday season slacker this year – I’m only now doing my shopping, all of it on-line – and you’ve got the perfect recipe for non-participation.

My absence aside, I’m confident that A Menu for Hope, now in its fifth year, will continue to build on the success of years past. Toward that end, I’d like to encourage each and every one of you who visit here to visit the official Menu for Hope host sites and to consider making a difference in this year’s program. For every ten bucks you donate, you’ll get a chance to win one of the many great prizes that have been donated by restaurants, wineries and some of my fellow food and wine bloggers from around the world.

As always, A Menu for Hope’s creator Pim Techamuanvivit is leading the drive. You’ll find a full listing of all of the raffle prizes up for grabs at her blog, Chez Pim. If you’d prefer to narrow things right down to the wine-specific options, you can visit Vinography, where Alder Yarrow is once again coordinating the vinous contributions to A Menu for Hope.

Photo courtesy of Chez Pim.

All proceeds from this year’s A Menu for Hope will once again be managed through the United Nations World Food Programme and will be targeted directly toward helping schoolchildren and the agricultural economy in rural Lesotho, Africa. In Pim’s own words, the contributions from last year’s program,
“Bought 388,000 meals in Lesotho schools, which fed over 19,000 poor hungry children with school meals for a whole month. The children received food in primary schools across the remote mountainous areas of Lesotho, which are the poorest and hungriest parts of the country.

Some of the money was used to buy food from local small scale farmers practicing sustainable farming methods in remote areas, providing them with guaranteed market for their products.”

My recommendations? Give generously this year. And give often. Or just give what you can. Pick a prize that’s not super high profile (but that appeals to you, of course) and you’ll exponentially increase your odds of winning something cool in the course of doing a good deed. This year’s program ends on Wednesday, December 24, so get moving. Every $10 makes a difference.

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