Those of you who’ve been following the world of food blogging (and I do mean “world”—just check out the list of food blogs compiled by Jeanne at the aptly named World on a Plate) over the last few years have most certainly heard of Pim Techamuanvivit and her ground-breaking chez pim . And while Pim has provided much to be impressed with over the last few years, perhaps her greatest contribution to the world of online food writing has been her Menu for Hope project, now in its third year, which has dared to use the realm of food blogging as a vehicle for charity and the promotion of altruism. Year 1 saw Menu for Hope raise funds for victims of the tsunami that devastated South and Southeast Asia in December 2004. Year 2, Menu for Hope succeeded in raising an astounding $17,000 towards UNICEF’s relief efforts in India and Pakistan’s Kashmir region following the earthquake of 2005. This year Menu for Hope III is hoping to raise even more money for the United Nations’ World Food Programme efforts across the globe.
How does it work? Well, Menu for Hope consists of an online raffle where participating food bloggers donate some kind of food-related gift, readers purchase online raffle tickets (this year a mere $10 (US) gets you a piece of the action) towards one or more of the available gift packages, all proceeds (well, virtually all--a tiny percentage goes to firstgiving.com, which is facilitating the complicated money matters) go to the World Food Programme, and a few weeks later winners are selected at random (regardless of the size of their contribution) for each of the gift packages.
This year "...an endless banquet" has contributed the following gift package (code CA10) as part of the Canadian division of Menu for Hope III:
What exactly is included? Well, the lucky winner will receive the following:
1 x 250-ml jar Švestka Preserves brand Pear-Vanilla-Bourbon butter, made with top-quality Flemish Beauty pears, Madagascar vanilla, a kick of Kentucky bourbon, and a whole lotta love--the preserve our fellow traveler Melissa at The Traveler's Lunchbox called a "silky, not-too-sweet yet robust marriage of flavors"
1 x 125-ml jar Švestka Preserves brand oignons confits, a.k.a. "the opiate of the masses"
1 x copy of the first in a series of "...an endless banquet" chapbooks, A.P.Q.O. (AEB 001), a short tome dedicated to the pleasures of the apple, the pear, the quince, and the orange (hence the name), with excerpts from the work of A. Davidson and A.J. Downing and illustrations from the work of, well, A.J. Kinik
1 x set of 5 "...an endless banquet"/AM/KM Productions' "Secondhand China" postcards, featuring photographs of cups and saucers from the Marek/Kinik Collection of Porcelain
NEW! 1 x 250-ml jar Švestka Preserves brand traditional Seville orange marmalade, based on Alan Davidson's personal recipe
NEWER! 1 x 250-ml jar Švestka Preserves brand apple-quince preserve. The quince was known as melimelum in ancient Rome, a name derived from the Greek for 'honey apple.' This being the case, Švestka Preserves did the only proper thing and united them. The result? Ambrosia.
[Hmm... One pear preserve, one orange preserve, and one apple and quince preserve? What does it all mean? Is there more to come? Stay tuned...]
+ our undying gratitude
What do you have to do to participate? Well, here's all you have to do:
1. Go to the donation page at firstgiving.com to make a contribution.
2. Each US$10 donation will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you'd like by entering the prize code in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your contribution. E.G: A US$50 donation may be two tickets for UW99 and three tickets for CA20.*
3. Some companies will match personal charitable donations made by staff. If your company has such a program, please remember to mark the appropriate box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
4. Please also check the box to allow us to see your email address. We need this so we can contact you in case you win a prize. If you do not do this, we will be unable to contact you. Please be assured that we will not share your email address with anyone.
5. Raffle results will be announced on 15 January on Chez Pim. Draws will be conducted electronically, thanks to Derrick at Obsession with Food for creating the computer application used to magically select names.
* N.B: Canadian tax laws prohibit charitable donation receipts to be issued by registered Canadian charities for raffle or lottery tickets. The UNWFP is a U.S.-based charity; should any donation receipts issued, you will need to seek professional advice regarding applying them to your Canadian income tax return.
Sound simple? It is.
Now, while we whole-heartedly encourage you to buy a raffle ticket for our "...an endless banquet" prize package, and we guarantee 100% satisfaction (110%, actually), you should know that there are a whole lot of other great prizes to be had as part of Menu for Hope III. The Canadian division alone features not one, not two, but 17 fetching gifts from bloggers hailing from all across Canada, "A Mari usque ad Mare." You can find them all, along with descriptions and those ever-so-important prize codes at Confessions of a Cardamom Addict, where Jasmine has been bravely leading the way. Throw in the rest of the world, including three US divisions, a European division, a Latin American division, and a division consisting of Asian, Australian, and Kiwi bloggers, and the number of tantalizing choices out there is downright overwhelming. (If you don't believe me, just check out Pim's Menu for Hope III round-up.)
"We Are the World"? Well, the food blog phenomenon has spread far and wide, but we're not exactly "the world." "Let them know it's Christmastime"? I'm not even sure what that means, but, believe me, "they" are well aware. "An endless banquet"? Hmm... It may not be immediately imminent, but it sure as hell could be.