FAQ

Do I really make a difference by playing Freerice? Is the site working?

Yes. The rice you donate makes a huge difference to the person who receives it.

Freerice is still working (as of summer 2017). Each time you answer a question right, the banner ad that you see generates enough money for the World Food Programme to buy 10 grains of rice to help reach Zero Hunger.

We aren't providing any support on the site right now, because there are some technical problems we just can't fix. But the site is working and money is being generated, all of which goes to help people in need.

And we have some good news: we're rebuilding Freerice, and you can get the latest updates on our Facebook page. Look for more information in the fall of 2017.

Thanks for playing!

How does playing the vocabulary game at Freerice help me?

Learning new vocabulary has tremendous benefits. It can help you:

  • Better formulate your ideas
  • Write more effective papers, emails and business letters
  • Speak more precisely and persuasively
  • Comprehend more of what you read
  • Read faster because your comprehension improves
  • Get higher grades in high school, college and graduate school
  • Increase your scores on tests like the SAT, GRE, LSAT and GMAT
  • Improve your performance at job interviews and conferences
  • Sell yourself, your services, and your products more effectively
  • Be more successful in your job

After you have played Freerice for a while, you may notice a strange phenomenon. Words that you have never consciously used before will begin to pop into your head while you are speaking or writing.

How can I play other subjects, besides English vocabulary?

Click on the Subjects link near the top right of the page to see a list of all subjects available at Freerice. There is math, science, geography, art history, foreign languages and more. Freerice is working to add more subjects and expand material within each subject. Our goal is to provide knowledge that is useful and interesting for you.

Why are some questions repeated?

Whenever you get a question wrong, Freerice will repeat it a few turns later to give you a second chance at it.

Who pays for the donated rice?

The rice is paid for by the banners you see at the bottom of your screen when you answer a question correctly. The money generated by these banners is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.

How do I start playing Freerice?

In the middle of the Freerice Home page you will see something like:

  • small means:
    • little
    • old
    • big
    • yellow


To play the game, click on one of the four definitions ("little", "old", "big" or "yellow") that you think is correct. If you get it right, Freerice donates 10 grains of rice to help end hunger. In the example above, you would want to click on "little", which means "small". When you select the correct answer, you earn 10 grains of rice - your donation is automatically counted without any further action required on your part. You will then get a chance to play another question in the same way. You can play as long as you like and donate as much rice as you like.

To track the rice that you earn and to join/create groups, please sign up.

How does the Freerice game work?

Freerice has a custom database containing questions at varying levels of difficulty. There are levels appropriate for beginners and levels that will challenge the most scholarly professors. In between are levels suitable for students of all ages, business people, homemakers, doctors, truck drivers, retired people. everyone!

Freerice automatically adjusts to your level. It starts by giving you questions of increasing difficulty and then, based on how you do, assigns you an approximate starting level. You then determine a more exact level for yourself as you play. When you get a question wrong, you go to an easier level. When you get three questions in a row right, you progress to a harder level.

How is the difficulty level determined?

The program keeps track of how many people get each question right or wrong, and then adjusts each question's difficulty level accordingly. So the questions at the easiest levels are the ones that people most often get right. The questions at the hardest levels are the ones that people most often get wrong. As more and more people have played the game, these levels have become increasingly more accurate.

What happens if my computer suddenly loses power while I am in the middle of playing? Does my donation still count?

Once your screen says that you have donated a certain amount of rice, our servers have registered it. For example, suppose your screen says that you have donated 120 grains of rice. If your computer then suddenly loses power, or you close your browser, or you click to go somewhere else, your donation has already been counted.

Where does Freerice get the word definitions from?

The word definitions for English vocabulary come from a wide variety of sources including dictionaries, thesauruses and books of synonyms. Each definition is double-checked and edited for accuracy. There are 60 levels of vocabulary with over 12,000 words in all, but it is rare for people to get above level 50.

How do you track the answers and rice donated for each person?

When you select an answer, this information is sent to one of our servers via a regular HTML form. This form is then processed by the server using the PHP programming language, which then is able to discern if your answer was correct. If so, it adds to both your personal rice total and the overall rice total. It then sends back an HTML page with new words and your new total as part of the next form.

If Freerice has the rice to give, why not give it all away right now?

Freerice is not sitting on a pile of rice. You and other Freerice players earn it 10 grains at a time. Here is how it works: when you play the game, sponsor banners appear on the bottom of your screen for every correct answer that you choose. The money generated by these banners is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.

Couldn't I just write a computer program to play all day and give a lot of rice that way?

Without real people playing and viewing the banner ads, no money is generated. Sponsors do not pay us any money if they detect that a bot is playing, or if you are using an ad blocker. Your rice totals will still go up in the game, but WFP will not receive any money to buy rice.

Does Freerice make any money from doing this?

Freerice does not make any money from this. Freerice is a website committed to the cause of ending hunger around the world. It is run entirely for free and at no profit. All money (100%) raised by the site goes to the UN World Food Programme to help feed the hungry. Sponsors make all payments to the WFP directly.

What is the history of Freerice?

Freerice was founded in October 2007 by John Breen. In March 2009 Mr. Breen donated the site to the UN World Food Programme. In making the donation, Mr. Breen expressed his hopes that Freerice will be able to grow over the coming years, helping to feed and educate as many people as possible throughout the world.

Can you tell me more about the UN World Food Programme (WFP)?

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) distributes all of the rice that you donate to help fight hunger.

Assisting 80 million people in around 80 countries each year, WFP is the leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

How much rice does it take to feed a person for a day? How many grains of rice in a gram?

The UN World Food Programme has something called a food basket, which is what we call the different types of food that we distribute. This basket varies from country to country and region to region, depending upon the eating habits of the people we help.

In countries where rice is a staple part of the diet, the World Food Programme provides, on average about 400 grams of rice per person, per day (for families, including children and adults). That is intended for two meals that include other ingredients to ensure a minimum of 2,100 kilocalories per day.

There are about 48 grains of rice in a gram.

How can I make a donation to buy more rice for hungry people?

From families facing famine in places like South Sudan and Yemen, to Syrian children who are living through war and hunger, an unprecedented number of people around the world urgently need food. But because of multiple large-scale emergencies, the World Food Programme’s resources are stretched thin.

Be a lifeline. Act now and give food to hungry children and their families.

What is being done to end world hunger?

Every day, WFP and its partners work to bring us closer to a zero hunger world. With our humanitarian food assistance, we provide nutritious food to those in urgent need. Meanwhile our complementary programmes address the root causes of hunger, building the resilience of communities, so we don’t need to keep saving the same lives each year.

The world has made great progress in reducing hunger: There are 216 million fewer hungry people than in 1990-92, despite a 1.9 billion increase in the world’s population. But there is still a long way to go, and no one organization can achieve Zero Hunger if it works alone. If we want to see a world free of hunger by 2030, governments, citizens, civil society organizations and the private sector must collaborate to invest, innovate and create lasting solutions.

Where can I learn more about hunger?

Visit the World Food Programme's website to learn more about hunger. By working together, we can see a world free of hunger by 2030.

How do I create a group?

Here are the simple steps needed to create a group:

1. Ensure that you have registered yourself
2. Go to http://freerice.com/groups/create
3. Fill in the required fields
4. Upload an image by clicking on the upload button and navigating to where it is saved on your computer, double click the image
5. Choose if it is "open" (anyone can join) or "closed" (only those with an invite link can join)
6. Choose your subjects
7. Hit the "Create" button

If you created a "closed" group, you will need to send your potential group members an invite link. You can find this by going to your group profile, clicking "Edit" and clicking on the "GET INVITE LINK" above your members list.

To find your group profile, go to http://freerice.com/groups/my

If you are a teacher, creating a group for a class: Once you have your group created, you should register each of your students so that they have a login username and password (you can register up to 40 students if you register them as u/14 years of age). Give them the link to your group, and let them "Join".

How do I find friends?

To add friends, go to your profile (http://freerice.com/user), click on the option to "Edit your profile".

Scroll down, above your Friends list you will see two options:

- A search box to search for friends already members on Freerice. Start typing their names, you can click on their name and choose to follow their activities on Freerice.

- A link to invite your friends on Facebook to join. You will still need to follow them on Freerice once they join using the search box.

You can also click on other Freerice player usernames and choose the option “Follow User”. This means that you will see updates in your Friends Activity list and see their ranking in your friends' ranking list.

Players are not notified when you follow them.

How do I invite members join my group?

You can invite members through Facebook or by using the invite link.

To do this:
1. Login and go to group profile
2. Click “edit” and scroll down to the "Members list"
3. Click on the option to "Invite Facebook Friends" or "Get Invite Link"

Only registered members can join your group, so you will need to ask your friends and family to register first.

To invite members to join a "closed" group:
1. Login and go to group profile
2. Click “edit”, then click on “Get invite link”,
3. Copy and give it to the people you want to invite to your group by email, social networks or other means of communication.

Please note that you can only invite people to an “Invite only” group that you have created yourself.

How do I find my groups?

You can find your groups by hovering over the “Groups” tab and selecting “My groups”.

To find other groups, hover over "Groups" in the navigation tab, and then select "Find Groups"

Why should I sign up as a player on Freerice?

When you’re signed up as a player on Freerice you can:
- track your totals permanently,
- join and create groups,
- share your results on Facebook and Twitter,
- find and follow friends,
- see your results in the ranking table,
- let others see and be inspired by your totals.

Why does the total under the ricebowl drop to 0 when I log out?

When you log out, your cookie session is deleted - this means that your internet browser no longer remembers how many grains you earned during that session. However, you do not lose your overall total. This is stored permanently in your profile and all rice raised is stored permanently in the Freerice grand total.

Why would we do that? Freerice is used by many schools as an education tool. This means that students play Freerice on shared computers in their classrooms. When the lesson is over, they need to log out and allow for a new set of students to use the computers. If the browser session is not cleared, the new set of students would start playing with the same number of grains earned by the previous set of students.

However, if you are not on a shared computer, you can remain logged in and the grains raised during that session will be stored for 30 days. The total number of grains raised is stored in your profile view permanently.

I forgot my password!

To recover your password, go to http://freerice.com/user/password and enter the email address that you registered with (this is very important). You will be emailed a link that you can click to reset your password.

If you are a parent with several children playing Freerice registered on your email account, you will receive links for all your children's accounts. Ensure you select the correct account.

If you do not receive the email, please check your junk mail or spam folders.

How do I raise rice for a particular group

If you would like the rice you raise to be credited to a particular group:

- ensure that you are logged in
- ensure that you are a member of the group
- ensure that you selected to play for that group

How to select to play in a group:
There are several ways you can do this...
1. Click on "Select a Group" in the player toolbar and click "Play" next to the relevant group
2. Go to "My Groups" and click "Play" next to the relevant group
3. Go to your profile, scroll down to "Top Groups", and click on "Play" next to the relevant group.

Does Freerice use British English or American English?

The large majority of Freerice players are based in the United States, additionally Freerice was originally built by a US citizen and later donated to the World Food Programme. For this reason, the English used on the site follows American grammatical rules.

However, in recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in the acceptance of variant spelling. For example, if you search for the word "somber" (US spelling) on the Oxford online dictionary, you will find: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sombre?q=somber where it references the US spelling.

How do I upload a profile picture?

1. Login
2. Go to your profile page and click "Edit Profile"
4. Click "Choose file" next to the Profile Picture and browse to the image file on your computer
6. Ensure the file name does not include unusual characters
4. Double click the file or click "open"
4. Click "save" at the bottom of the page

Please note: if you registered as being under the age of 14, your profile will be limited to protect your identity. You will not be able to upload a profile picture or add a description, and can only edit your password.

Problems with audio can have many different reasons. Please find below instructions to deal with the most common ones.

- Make sure your headset or speakers are properly connected and turned on. Also check any volume controls.

- If you are using an external amplifier, make sure it is turned on and the volume is at the right level.

- Your speaker icon is normally displayed to the left of the computer clock. Click on the icon and make sure the volume is turned up, and the mute button is NOT checked.

- Check your audio settings. The sound files usually use the default Windows Media Player or a standard audio player on your computer. If you have altered your audio settings, the pronunciation tool files may not be recognized by an audio program on your computer.

- Restart your computer and try again. This often resolves software conflicts with other programs using conflicting audio settings.

- If you only hear some words, but most of the time can't get audio, your Internet connection may be too slow.

- You may need to download or upgrade your Flash player. This is free and easy to do: get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

- Ensure that javascript is enabled in your browser settings.

- Ensure you have the latest browser version - upgrading your browser is free and easy to do. Google for your browser and the word "upgrade".

How do I upload a group picture?

Once logged in, and either in the group creation page or on your existing group profile page:

1. Click the "upload" button next to "Picture" field
2. Browse to where the image file is stored on your computer
3. Ensure the file name does not include any unusual characters
4. Either double click the file or click "Open"
5. Click "save" at the bottom of the Freerice page, or continue editing the page

Does Freerice help the homeless?

Freerice provides meals to people who are hungry, and do not receive enough nutrition to lead healthy and active lives.

While some of those people may be homeless, many or even most do have homes. Hunger is not caused only by homelessness, but is often caused by natural disasters such as droughts or floods, political instability, high food prices, poverty and other triggers.

Why does my personal profile display more grains than in my group?

At the start of every session, you need to select to "play" for a chosen group. This is because many players are members of several groups, rather than just one group.

Every time that you login to Freerice, navigate to your group profile or choose a group from your list of groups: http://freerice.com/groups/my, and click "Play".

If you do not do this, totals will count towards your personal profile but will not be counted towards any particular group.

Why can't I answer/see any questions?

Please try:
- updating your browser to the latest version
- ensuring javascript is enabled in your browser settings

How do I change my password?

To change your password:
- login
- go to http://freerice.com/user
- click on "Edit" and you will be able to save a new password on this page.

If you cannot remember your details to login, you can request a username reminder / password reset link here: http://freerice.com/user/password

Where is Freerice based?

Freerice is based at the United Nations World Food Programme headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Why is my total in group incorrect?

Only the totals viewed on your registered profile and below the "ricebowl" while playing are real time. Totals viewed on group profiles and elsewhere on the site are tallied every 24 hours. This is to ensure that the system is not overloaded.

As Freerice is located at the United Nations World Food Programme headquarters in Rome, Italy, the time zone is UTC +1.

Is this site still working?

Yes, this site is still working (summer 2017). Each time you answer a question right, the banner ad that you see generates enough money for the World Food Programme to buy 10 grains of rice to help reach Zero Hunger.

We aren't providing any support on the site right now, because there are some technical problems we just can't fix. But the site is working and money is being generated, all of which goes to help people in need.

And we have some good news: we're rebuilding Freerice, and you can get the latest updates on our Facebook page. Look for more information in the fall of 2017.

Thanks for playing!

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World Food Programme

The world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide

Freerice is owned by and supports the World Food Programme (WFP).

Visit WFP's website

WFP is funded entirely through voluntary donations.