Have you been to hungersite.com? Every time you visit and click, one of its sponsors buys a hungry person a meal (limit: one click per day). I’ve clicked a few times, and it got me to wondering . . . how do we know they gave away 20,865 meals on July 7? Did the folks from USA Today and Yahoo! who’ve plugged this site checked to be sure? My guess is that, no, they didn’t check, but that, yes, the meals are being distributed, albeit not literally one-by-one on the days listed. I.e., the meal may cost a nickel (we are not talking about steak and potatoes in France — potato, I might note, does have an “e” when it’s plural — but, rather, one and a half cups of rice in Mauritania) . . . and the sponsor may pay hungersite.com monthly. Hungersite.com may then pass on all or a good chunk of the sponsorship money to groups like the UN’s World Food Program to be used to provide food to the hungry.

I have a call in to the UN World Food Program — listed as the current beneficiary of our largesse — to make sure they have heard of the hungersite.com, and to get an idea of what sort of dollars are involved.

In the meantime, one does wonder who, exactly, the hunger site is. Are there no names or faces out of modesty — definitely possible — or because full disclosure might tarnish the altruistic tone?

In the Frequently Asked Questions section, you will see no question like, “Who Are You?” or “Who Started This?” Rather: “The Hunger Site was founded as an independent Internet site to help alleviate hunger in the world. It enables people to learn about hunger and to make free donations of food to the hungry. It is not owned by any company or affiliated with any group or organization.”

Fair enough. But that could mean a bright young guy or gal is doing this and taking in a penny or two of his or her own for every click. To which I would say, basically: more power to him . . . but disclosure would be nice. (Imagine getting 1 million people a day to click, and a penny from each — $10,000 a day.)

Anyway, I hope to learn a bit more about this. In the meantime, I may set Quickbrowse to include http://www.hungersite.com in my daily fare, so I can quickly and efficiently click. Then again, how many seconds is a nickel even worth? (If your time is worth $20 an hour: 9 seconds.)

If I find out anything interesting, I’ll let you know.


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