DREW BREES AND STUDENTS FACING OFF IN THE 2011 RICEBOWL CHALLENGE TO TACKLE HUNGER

DREW BREES AND STUDENTS FACING OFF IN THE 2011 RICEBOWL CHALLENGE TO TACKLE HUNGER

Super Bowl is Over But the Action Continues

The Ricebowl Challenge officially opened yesterday, with New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees and his fans going head to head against students across the country to answer trivia questions which earn grains of rice for the hungry poor.

“The Ricebowl Challenge is all about playing smart to tackle hunger,” said Brees, who has been building his team through a well-established social media network. “Whether you join my team or the opposing student team, this is a cause worth winning.”

During the week-long Ricebowl Challenge organized by the award-winning on-line vocabulary game, Freerice.com, in partnership with the Maine Department of Education, players will compete to see who can tally the most correct answers to the game’s trivia questions. For every correct answer, ten grains of rice are donated through WFP and paid for by advertisers.

Since taking the web by storm in 2007, Freerice.com has raised enough rice to feed more than 4.3 million people for a day.

“The challenge is on,” said Nancy Roman, Director of Communication and Private Sector Parnterships for WFP. “With Drew Brees at the helm of the Ricebowl, we have a fantastic opportunity to leverage social media networks across the nation and to see what an online community of hunger-fighting trivia fans can do in the fight against hunger.”

One early front-runner on the students’ team is the Maine Department of Education’s 1:1 laptop program, the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI).   MLTI has already started to tackle hunger, challenging students in grades 7 through 12 to battle for the Bowl in a public school event.  The organizers in Maine are going the extra yard for their state, approaching local businesses to match what is raised online as a contribution to local area food banks.
“Our state school laptop program is all about using technology to help students think globally while acting locally.  The Ricebowl Challenge is the perfect platform for us to learn about hunger – both here and abroad, brush up on some key subjects and be a part of a solution,” said Jeff Mao, the state’s director of learning technology policy.
For more information about how schools and individuals can join the competition, go to www.freerice.com/ricebowl.  Results will be tallied daily from February 6-12 and the top three scorers who rack up the most rice by February 12th win Drew Brees-autographed footballs.

About FreeRice.com

FreeRice.com is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. Its designer, John Breen, developed the simple word game to help his teenage sons prepare for their college entrance exams and in March 2009 donated it to WFP. Driving the donation of rice are an average 40,000 players daily (1.2 million per month). WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.