Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Serving Up: Menu For Hope

When I started blogging a year ago, I noticed a few food bloggers talking about this thing called the “Menu For Hope” during the holidays. It’s an annual online fund-raiser organized by one of the more noted food bloggers, Chez Pim, who lives in the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. Pim started it initially as a way to help out after the devastating Southeast Asian tsunami a few years back, and continued it every year. Each year she picks a worthy food-related program to support.

So this is what I thought last year:

Chef Ben: That’s so cool. Food bloggers do more than just make recipes and eat out.

Me: You should really join in. It’s a worthy cause and you’ll be part of the food blogging community.

Chef Ben: Me? I don’t think people really know me. I’m so D-List. Plus, the holidays are right around the corner. I don’t have time to come up with a gift for people to bid on. Maybe next year.

Me: That’s what you always say. I’m still waiting for you to redesign your Web site.

Huh, I just realized I’m kind of hard on myself. Anywho, now it’s next year and of course I still don’t feel connected enough to donate a food-related gift that would be a worthy prize. So if I’m not donating a prize, I thought I should at least help promote this worthy cause.

How it works is you go and check out the list of donated food-related items and note down the ones you wouldn’t mind having. (Take down the special product code for the item.) Then you click on the donate site and you buy a raffle ticket for each item you want to possibly win. Each ticket costs $10 and you note the prize you’re hoping to win. If you want to increase your chances of winning, then like other raffles you just buy more tickets.

Some of the prizes are pretty amazing, and Pim is so known around the world that she’s gotten prizes from around the globe. (I’m not going to tell you which prize I’m bidding on because I don’t want the competition!) This year all the proceeds go to the UN World Food Programme’s special lunch program in Lesotho, Africa. Last year, Menu For Hope raised more than $60,000, also for the United Nations’ program.

So click here to browse the list of prizes and buy a raffle ticket before Dec. 21. Then check back on Jan. 9 on Chez Pim’s blog to see the list of drawings. For just $10, you’re getting a chance at some cool food prizes, but most of all you’re helping to feed people who don’t get to enjoy the wonders of food that we do in this country.

UPDATE (01/11/08): The raffle winners have been announced. Click here to go to Chez Pim's official list of winners to check if your donation won out. (Alas, a certain Single Guy Chef will not be having dinner with a certain wine critic for the New York Times. boo.) And congratulations to Chez Pim for an amazing fund-raising effort this year, raising an astonishing $91,188. That's pretty impressive for an online fund-raiser that's only a few years old. See you next year!


SteamyKitchen said...

Now, if you would have donated a lunch with Single Guy Chef, I would have bought a ticket!!!

Chef Ben said...

Next year. ;-)

foodhoe said...

oh well that sounds like something i can't afford not to sign up for! thanks chef ben for the cool tip.

Dennis said...

This year Menu For Hope was the talk of the town. The list of raffle prizes is very interesting. I hope enough funds are raised through this event.