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For that sudden moment when you realize, I did something good!
We hand-deliver 1 kilo of rice for every item we make. How does it work? Glad you asked! Here are the answers to our most common questions about our giving.
How large is the hunger problem?
India alone has a population of 1.2 billion people. About 450 million, or 37%, are below the world poverty line, living on $1.25 USD per day. This leads to poor health, disease, and needless death. We give in India because it has more poor than any country in the world, 1/3 of the world's total poor. You can help today by buying a bag, and feeding a family. Join the movement to change the world!
Do you only give 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of rice per family at a time?
No. Giving 1 kilo of rice at a time would have little impact. Instead, we give 25 kilos of rice at a time. For every 25 items we produce, we hand-deliver a 25 kilo bag of rice. For example, if each customer only purchased 1 item, it would take 25 customers to give 25 kilos of rice to one family. 25 items made = 25 kilos delivered. The majority of our giving is managed by our partner Philip Pulla.
How does giving impact a family?
Happy you asked! From a Western perspective, it can be very difficult to imagine just how important rice is to Asia and the Pacific Islands. Westerners can easily get by without eating rice. But, in Asia, this is not case. In India, rice is eaten three times per day. For low income families, rice is the primary source of daily calories. These families are not bombarded by packaged foods and fast food, like exist in the developed world. In Asia, rice is life. The amount of rice we provide lifts a tremendous burden from families who are strained in many way beyond financial. Most families dream of sending their children to private school in India, which is the beginning of the path out of poverty. Many families use the money they save to pay an admittance fee for one of their children to get into school, which provides hope for the future.
How does giving impact the local economy?
We don't buy rice in one country and send it to another, which would negatively impact the local economy. Instead, we buy rice locally from retail stores supporting the supply chain all of the way to the lowest levels. We buy from the places that the people would be buying from if we weren't there. The income that the family saves on rice can be used towards these necessities in their local village, therefore, stimulating the local economy.
How often do you give rice?
We don't wait until our bags sell, to give. Instead, we give while we make our bags. For example, if we make 100 bags, we deliver 100 kilos of rice by the time we ship the bags from India to our warehouse in the United States. By the time our bags are stocked at our warehouse, we have already completed the giving. In most cases, we have the recipients photo and story posted to our giving blog before you buy a bag so that it is ready to read as soon as you get your bag!
How much does it cost to give 1 kilo of rice?The cost of giving 1 kilo of rice represents 20%-40% of the cost of each product. A lot more goes into giving than you might think, especially when you make the extra effort to make sure you are giving the right way. Here is what you are giving when you buy a Rice Love product:
- Rice purchased from local markets rather than wholesalers
- Higher quality rice than average
- Jobs for our local employees. We don't rely on volunteers or foreigners. We have a paid local giving team that travels to villages, meets with village leaders, meets with families with true needs, buys the rice locally, takes photos, gather stories, creates blog posts. This is an intensive process.
Do you give through outside organizations?
Generally, no. In order to ensure we help as many people as possible, we manage all of the giving ourselves. Although if an organization or relief effort has a particular need for rice, we are happy to consider it.
Where do you give?
We are currently giving in India. The only exception is that we sell a Pineapple bag which provides 1 kilo of rice to the homeless of Hawaii through IHS (Honolulu based homeless shelter) and the Hawaii Food Bank. We plan to give elsewhere in the future.
How do you choose to whom to give?
We have partnered with a former farmer named Pulla, who travels to villages around India (currently near Hyderabad). Pulla meets with the village leader and explains what Rice Love is and how it works. He asks permission to help families in the village based on the leaders recommendation. The leaders identify families that are struggling due to job loss or illness. Pulla interviews each family one by one. With the permission of the family, Pulla's assistant writes down their story and takes their photo. If the need is sufficient, the family is given a token which can be redeemed the following week for a 25 kilo bag of high quality rice.
Do you only give to families?
No. We give to single mothers, older women, etc. However, we focus on giving to families. There are many organizations that help children, the old, and the disabled. We focus on the family because they are mostly overlooked. Millions of families in India struggle to get by financially. By supporting the family, we support the children, and the future.
Can I participate in a giving trip?
We give in an ongoing basis in India. If you would like to join us for a day of giving in Hyderabad or another area of India, please email Coney at email@example.com. You will get to travel to a village or a slum with our giving team. You will most likely not be able to communicate with the people we give to (except for with gestures) because India has 22 major languages and over 720 dialects. However, our guides speak perfect English. They would love to meet you and share the experience with you. We can accommodate groups from 1 up to 20 people. If you are in the early stages of planning your trip, we would love to assist you by booking any of your travel accommodations for you. Our locals know the best places to go, things to see, places to eat, and how to stay safe. We can help make your trip to India very enjoyable! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Rice Love a non-profit?
Rice Love is a social enterprise, not a non-profit. This means that rather than relying on donations, the products that we sell provide the funding for the jobs that we create and the giving that we do.
Do you accept donations or grants?
Our giving is funded through product purchases. Any donations are non-tax deductible. We are interested in any grants that may help Rice Love grow. If you're not necessarily interested in our products, but want to help, take a look at our Rice Bowl Pins or Recycled Zipper Pouches. These are small items that still allow you to help give and receive a small gift item in return!
Is there evidence that you are actually giving 1 kilo for every item?
Glad you asked! This is our favorite part! If we are going to give on your behalf, you deserve to see the proof. Every item we produce comes with a hang tag with a unique number on it. You can use that number to look up the family you fed above! Every single item is accounted for. See the proof! Read the stories. We guarantee you will not regret it!
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