Do I really make a difference by playing Freerice?

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

You and the thousands of other Freerice players have fed millions of people since the game launched in October 2007. If we all do a little we can achieve a lot!

Find out more Hunger Facts.

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 sponsors whose names you see on the bottom of your screen when you enter a correct answer. These sponsors support both learning (free education for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We thank these sponsors for their generous participation at Freerice. For information about how you or your company can sponsor Freerice, please email freerice.rep@wfp.org..

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 program 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?

There are two problems with this. First, it overloads our servers so that real people can't play and learn. Second, without real people playing and the resulting company sponsorship, no money would be generated and we could not give any rice at all.

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. It is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global hunger and the world's largest humanitarian organization, working closely with many other organizations in over 75 countries.

In addition to providing food, WFP helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good. Wherever possible, they purchase food locally to save on transportation costs and to help boost local markets. Find out more about how the rice is procured.

In what countries does the UN World Food Programme distribute the rice?

The UN World Food Programme works around the globe and Freerice donations are made with no restrictions. This freedom of use allows them to apply the donations to countries that need it most, often those that don't make the headlines in the news, yet where chronic hunger continues unchecked.

Often World Food Programme is able to purchase the rice in the very countries where the beneficiaries are located, cutting down on the transport time to reach the hungry and helping to stimulate local economies at the same time.

Here are some examples of where Freerice rice has been distributed:

  • Cambodia: From June 2011, all rice raised on Freerice will go to Cambodia where it will be purchased locally and will support our school meal programmes there. It’s not the first time Freerice has supported Cambodia. We previously provided enough rice to feed 13,500 women.
  • Haiti: From January 2011 until May 2011, rice was allocated to Haiti. Nearly 6 billion grains of rice was donated, enough to feed nearly 300,000 people two meals for a day.
  • In Bangladesh, to feed 27,000 refugees from Myanmar for two weeks. Watch Freerice being distributed in Bangladesh.
  • In Cambodia, to provide take-home rations of four kilograms of rice for two months to 13,500 pregnant and nursing women.
  • In Uganda, to feed 66,000 school children for a week.
  • In Nepal, to feed over 108,000 Bhutanese refugees for three days.
  • In Bhutan, to feed 41,000 children for 8 days.
  • In Myanmar, to feed 750,000 cyclone affected people for 3 days.
How much rice does it take to feed a person for a day? How many grains of rice in a gram?

The composition of UN World Food Programme food basket varies from country to country and region to region, depending upon the eating habits of the people WFP feeds.

In countries where rice is a staple part of the diet, 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.

The cost of rice per metric ton has more than doubled since the website's inception. Given that Freerice players raise grains of rice, not dollars, this increase does not change the overall number of people fed.

However, Freerice donates the cash equivalent of the grains raised through sponsorships and donations, so rising rice prices means that Freerice has to raise significantly more money to pay for the grains generated by every correct click.

Why has the number of grains donated for each correct answer changed from 10 grains to 20 and then back to 10?

When Freerice started in October 2007, we gave 10 grains of rice for each correct answer. We were then fortunate enough to be able to increase this to 20 grains for 2008.

Unfortunately, we then had to decrease this to 10 grains again in January 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis and its effect on internet advertising. When the economic climate improves, we hope to be able to increase it once again.

How can I share Freerice with others?

Since Freerice's strength is in the number of people using it, you can make a big difference simply by spreading the word about hunger through blogs or communities where Freerice exist like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

You can also help spread the word through World Food Programme's networks on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

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

If you like, you can make a donation to the UN World Food Programme to help Freerice buy more rice to feed hungry people. If you are located in the United States please click here.
Otherwise, please click here.
If you would like to become a sponsor for Freerice, please email wfp.freerice@wfp.org.

What is being done to end world hunger?

There is great progress being made to end world hunger. Many organizations across the globe are involved in this struggle. Each day, hundreds of thousands of ordinary men and women work for these organizations. Through their efforts, millions of impoverished people have food to eat, learn skills and find hope for the future. Find out more about how WFP is fighting to end world hunger.

What else can I do to help end hunger?

Here are three things you can do to help end hunger. All are free and easy to do.

  1. To learn how to take action in your community, click here.
  2. Add your name to the One Campaign, where several million people have already joined together as one to end hunger and extreme poverty. If enough people join, dreams for a better world can be made into reality very quickly.
  3. Twenty-two countries have joined together to try to raise enough money to end world hunger completely by each contributing 0.7% (less than 1%) of national income. Some of the countries have already met this goal. Others haven't come that far yet. You can see how the countries are doing here. You can also print a letter to support your country's participation here.
Where can I learn more about hunger?

One last important thing you can do to help end hunger is to become knowledgeable about it. A good way to do this is to visit WFP, or one of the many excellent sites listed here. We believe that when enough people around the world become knowledgeable about hunger, it will no longer be tolerated.

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 loose 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.

Why does the layout of Freerice look so strange?

If you are using Internet Explorer 6, Freerice will have a very strange layout. We are currently not supporting IE6, as this version of the browser presents several unique challenges to layout and it is no longer used by the vast majority of players.

Upgrading your Internet Explorer browser to the latest version is easy to do - simply go to http://www.microsoft.com and click to download the latest version.

You may also find that Java-script is not enabled on your browser. To enable it:

  • If you are using Internet Explorer, click on "Tools" in your main toolbar, select "Internet Options" select the "Advanced" tab, scroll through the options until you find the Java category and ensure the item is ticked.
  • If you are using Firefox, click on "Tools" in your main toolbar, select "Options", select the "Content" tab, and tick the option next to enable JavaScript.

If you continue to experience layout problems, please email us at WFP.Freerice[at]wfp.org

I have forgotten my login password!

To recover your password, simply 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.

Why Can't I login?

Please check the following:

- that you are typing your password and username correctly
- your username is not an email address
- there are no spaces after or before your password

Note: usernames are case sensitive, so please use the same capital letters and spaces used while signing up.

If you are unsure of your username or password, go to http://freerice.com/user/password and we will email them to you.

If you continue to struggle, please email us at wfp.freerice[at]wfp.org

I select an answer and nothing happens!

We have had the occasional player writing to us about this problem, however we are unable to recreate the problem and it seems to be affecting a limited number of players.

To investigate the problem would it be possible to email us, at wfp.freerice[@]wfp.org, the following information:

1. What internet browser you use and the version?

2. Do you use anti-virus software, and if so which?

3. What is your operating system?

4. What is your Internet connection type & speed?

5. Do you have JavaScript enabled or disabled in your browser?

6. Do you experience problems with other web-sites, or only with Freerice?

7. Does Freerice sometimes work for you, or never?

8. Was Freerice working fine for you in the past? If so, when was the last time it worked for you?

9. Do you get any kind of error message on the screen?

We appreciate your help in solving this problem.

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.

Where does Freerice purchase its rice?

Freerice has a policy of purchasing rice from the same country to which the rice is allocated. This means that we not only save on the cost of transporting the rice, more importantly we also support the local economy. We are able, in this way, to help more people.

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 see any subjects on the subject page (Freerice.com/category)?

Could you try:
- upgrading your web browser, particularly if you use Internet Explorer. This is free and easy to do if you Google for instructions.
- ensure that javascript is enabled on your computer

If the problem persists, please email us at WFP.Freerice[at]wfp.org

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

My Freerice toolbar is not working...

The downloadable Freerice toolbar is no longer supported, due to ongoing bugs that we have been unable to resolve. We will alert Freericers, if and when it is reinstated.

In the meanwhile, if you would like to remove the toolbar from your computer, you can find instructions by Googling for your relevant operating system and the words "how to uninstall or remove programmes”.

For example, here are instructions for removing programmes from Windows 7: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/Uninstall-or-change-a-program

Can I change my username?

You cannot change your username, this can only be changed by the Freerice team.

If you have a very good and urgent reason for needing to change the username, please email wfp.freerice@wfp.org along with the reason, the username you need to change and the new username that you would like to use?

(PLEASE NOTE: as we are a small team with limited resources, we will only change the username if the reason is valid and urgent.)

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

How can I report obscene or inappropriate groups or profiles?

Freerice is used by a wide range of people including schools, homeschooling mothers and educators.

We are quick and careful to remove inappropriate content, if it is reported to us via email at wfp.freerice@wfp.org with "Report inappropriate content" contained in the subject line.

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.

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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.