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Last-minute stocking stuffer: Giving the gift of hope (and some black truffles)

December 24, 2009 |  8:55 am

Hope There's still time to get in on the foodie bonanza over at Chez Pim: a raffle to win black truffles from France, coffee with former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl, frying pans, a two-night stay and wine tasting in Santa Barbara, a mortar and pestle, a case of your very own custom-blended wine, dinner at Ad Hoc. ... The list goes on and on; check it out here. The drawing is Jan. 18.

Dubbed in some circles as "the queen of food bloggers," Pim Techamuanvivit launched her Menu for Hope campaign six years ago to raise money for victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia. The online food community responded: Now, food bloggers around the world are involved. 

Pim, author of "The Foodie Handbook: The (Almost) Definitive Guide to Gastronomy," said during a recent phone interview that Menu for Hope has been one of the most rewarding things she has ever done, and credits the generous spirit of the online food community. "We're food people. We love food. We live food. We talk about it, write about it, photograph it ... and here we have such an abundance of food that we can do that. Not everyone is that lucky."

One thing that Pim does not do: Handle the cash. All donations are made through a third-party site and go to the world's largest food aid agency, the United Nation's World Food Program. Specifically, the funds are earmarked for Purchase for Progress (P4P), a program that helps small farmers supply food to the U.N.'s food program. Says Pim, "P4P helps farmers improves farming practices and puts more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops. This will also help buoy local economy by creating jobs and income locally. We food bloggers understand the importance of buying locally and supporting our local farms. P4P helps do the same for farmers in low-income countries around the world."  

As of Monday, Menu for Hope 6 has raised more than $28,000.

-- Rene Lynch

Photo credit: Chez Pim

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