How About Some Free Rice?

by Katy on March 3, 2009 · 10 comments

Free Rice

Raising teens and especially pre-teen boys these days is hard, as the video and computer game culture is close to impossible to escape. 

When my sons go to their friends houses, it’s often all they do. My 13-year-old son thinks this is the point, (duh!) but my ten-year-old son gets bored and cranky when his friends only want to play video games. 

I don’t blame him.

When my teenager’s friends come to our house, it’s all they want to do. And the rainy Portland climate makes it hard to present other appealing options.

We do have both a Game Cube and a Wii. The boys are allowed to play with them on weekends, and when they have friends over. But to them, it’s never enough.

But I have found a fun and addictive computer game that is kid tested, mother approved. is an interactive educational website where you answer questions in a variety of different subjects, such a geography, math and chemistry, art and language. When you get a question right, ten grains of rice are donated to a person in need. (It’s simple, yet oddly addictive.)

The rice is distributed by The UN World Food Program, and is wholly supported by the advertising. And it’s run without a profit, so there’s no one getting rich off this great idea.

The site is so successful that 43,942,622,700 grains of rice were donated in 2008.  FreeRice has generated enough rice to feed more than two million people since its inception in October 2007!

I had thought my ten-year-old son would like the site, but that my 13-year-old would be too jaded. He surprised me by being into it even more than his brother.

“Look Mom, I’m up to 1000 grains of rice already!”

The site starts out with easy questions and automatically increases with difficulty if you’re getting everything right. So the questions would actually work well all the way up to the  high school level.

Heck, the Chemistry and foreign language questions would probably stump most of us adults!

So next time your kids are bugging you for some computer or video game time, log onto and you can feel good knowing that they’re learning something while helping to feed the hungry.

Thank you to Lise for badgering me until I finally checked out this great website!

Do you have a site to recommend? Please share it in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

chaotic kitten March 4, 2009 at 5:08 am

I got very addicted to that site a while ago! It’s a great way to help the world, but not so great if you ever want to get anything else done, I found!!


Barb March 4, 2009 at 9:07 am

I have to admit, I love We have been playing this online game for quite some time. I agree with you, it is strangely addictive.

Since the system (as you described above) gives harder and harder questions until you start to get wrong answers, it is perfect for many different ages. The site originated with the vocabulary quiz, and that’s what I tend to use. I find that I typically get stuck around level 50 🙂

We’ll give some of the other subjects a try, though, based on your recommendation. Thanks!


Angela March 4, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I love this site! Thank you so much for the information. I’m going to pass it along to all my friends with kids. And since I’m a bit of an obsessive-compulsive, if I get hooked on this site, at least I’ll be doing a little bit of good instead of just having my time sucked up by photos of Miley’s unfortunate fashion choice or the latest revelation of the octomom’s mental illness, or whatever is the latest nonsense going around….


Kristin March 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm

What an awesome site! It’s great when you can help others and it doesn’t cost you a dime. Thanks Katy!


Klara Le Vine March 5, 2009 at 12:31 am

On some level the idea is fantastic – but why can’t they bring it further and give people whole rice, not the white denurtured stuff??


Sakeenah March 5, 2009 at 4:45 am

I think Free Rice is a great idea. I just wish the World Food Program would take a stance against using genetically modified food, are we experimenting with those in need?


Brian Hunt March 5, 2009 at 7:41 am

Another great charity site is It donates money to children in need through World Vision.

Check it out at


Kassie March 5, 2009 at 1:48 pm

We – as a family – love – it also give kids a chance to feel charitable – we have played it many times as a family game… good fun, good for the brain, and many times good starters for conversation!


vasudha March 8, 2009 at 11:58 pm

I was informed about this site by my brother & have tried to play it regularly .it is fun & addictive.I have forwarded it to my email buddies as well.

the bonus is that it donates free rice in the process ! can anybody ask for more ?

pl read my novel “Rangoli ” online @


Val July 24, 2018 at 11:13 am

9 plus years on, I have just recently found your site and this post just made my kids’ day 🙂


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