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Posted on Dec 10, 2007 in admin | 23 comments

Menu for Hope 4

Menu for Hope 4


Menu for Hope, smallThe year-end is a time for charity and awards in the food blog world, and Lunch in a Box is happy to donate a prize for Menu For Hope, now in its 4th year. Started by Pim of Chez Pim, Menu for Hope raises money for the United Nations World Food Programme, the world’s largest food aid agency (last year it raised almost US$63,000 for the program!). Specifically, this year’s donations will benefit the school lunch program in Lesotho, Africa. A full list of prizes is here at Chez Pim, and the Western U.S. regional prizes are all shown here at Rasa Malaysia. A mere US$10 gives you a shot at some pretty cool food-related prizes! Check them all out and see what appeals to you.

Bento lunch starter kit and tour of San Francisco’s Japantown by Lunch in a Box (prize code: UW18)

Lunch in a Box prize donation for Menu for Hope 4

Pack your lunch in style with a complete bento set and personal tour of San Francisco’s Japantown. The kit consists of a hard-to-find large Lock & Lock bento lunch set with insulated carrying case (470ml subdivided box + 470ml box + drink container), molds to make shaped hard-boiled eggs and onigiri rice balls, matching blue fork and chopsticks with their own cases, silicone baking cups, reusable plastic food cups, food dividers, mini cutters, cute food picks and sauce containers, antibacterial lunch sheets, onigiri wrappers, and a microwave mini steamer for speedy food prep. And if you live in or will be visiting San Francisco, I’ll give you a personal bento tour of San Francisco’s Japantown, visiting specialty stores for bento gear, food, and cookbooks. Have your own Japanese speaker show you around and translate anything you have questions about! (Continue reading for detailed photos and donation instructions.)

Lunch in a Box prize donation for Menu for Hope 4, part 3a/3 Lunch in a Box prize donation for Menu for Hope 4, part 3b/3

The winner will be able to choose one of the two Lock & Lock insulated bento kits shown above: blue or red/orange. (Click any photo for a larger view with notes.) The chopsticks, fork, and silicone baking cups shown on the left are included with both.


Lunch in a Box prize donation for Menu for Hope 4, part 1/3 Lunch in a Box prize donation for Menu for Hope 4, part 2/3

I will ship internationally if the winner lives outside the U.S., and there’s no expiration date on the tour in case the winner lives outside the Bay Area but will be visiting at some point in the future. The tour is transferable if the winner won’t be traveling to San Francisco.

How to donate:

1. After selecting the prizes you’d like on the West Coast list or Pim’s full list, go to the donation page. Donations are managed by, an independent online fundraising company.

2. Make a donation, each $10 will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. (The Lunch in a Box bento prize is code UW18.) Do tell us how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code -for example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for AP01 and 3 for AP02.

3. For US donors, if your company has agreed to match your charity donation, please remember to check the box and fill in the information so we may claim the corporate match.

4. Please also check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

5. Check back on Chez Pim on January 9th, when the raffle results will be announced. (The drawing will be done electronically.)

Quick reminder that Lunch in a Box is up for “Best Food Blog — Theme” and “Best Food Blog — Family/Kids”categories in the 2007 Food Blog Awards! Voting closes at 11:59 pm EST on Friday, December 14th. If you enjoy this blog I’d appreciate your vote (click to vote for “Best Theme” and “Best Family/Kids” blog). Thank you!


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  1. Wow! I have been secretly drooling over your lunches and the preschool lunches for a while now!

    I was just thinking too bad I’m in Korea - but then you mentioned you’d ship internationally! I may just have to donate after all.

    ps. love your blog! this is the perfect chance for me to come out of lurking and say hello.

  2. @1 from Lily: Of course I’ll ship to Korea! It’s for charity, after all. And if you ever make it through San Francisco I’ll show you around (Japantown if you like, or maybe Daiso if that’s more appealing to you — I’m flexible). Thanks for the kind comments; I love it when lurkers say hi!

  3. NIFTY! Totally OT - I went into the japan centre in Picadilly in London looking for thier Dollar section. Its NOT that big at all. 2 types of Bento, one in 2 colours, one in three. Some sauce bottles, disposable cupcake holders and cultery. 2 types of rice shaper and thats it really. BUT I still got my very own pink Bento with chopsticks and a fork in a container!

  4. Hey-I’m a lurker living in Korea, too! I decided to delurk for a moment and say hello to both of you.

    Biggie, I wanted to let you know that your blog is a wonderful inspiration for me. My 6 year old takes lunch every day, and I am working hard on expanding his tastebuds.

    I do have one question for you, though. Do you know of any books which might be good for someone just starting out and who has food limits? I want to introduce the bento idea to a 10 year old vegetarian. I think she will enjoy the process, but I’ve not been able to find a book which will suit her.

    Thanks for any advice you can give!

  5. I am soo donating! I’ve been looking for a charity to donate to this year, and you can’t get any better than the UN World Food Programme!

    I’m also a bento newbie who loves your blog. You’ve really expanded my views on what a bento can be! So some sweet bento gear and a personal tour of SF’s J-Town (I’m planning on visiting SF either this summer or the next) would be the perfect prize.

  6. @3 from Zelda: Hmm, too bad that Japan Centre in London is a big disappointing, but at least there was something there for you! Now for Daiso to expand their offerings there…

  7. @4 from allysther: Thanks for delurking, allysther, and for the kind comments. Offhand, I can’t think of many books in English that are vegetarian bento-specific, but you might want to check out the following blogs/groups that are vegetarian or vegan focused:

  8. @5 from Sarah: Thanks for donating, Sarah! We can meet up in person if you win and I’ll show you all around!

  9. @6 from Yvo: Thanks, Yvo! I wanted to come up with something that would be more than just a plain bento kit in case people already have good access to bento gear. Luckily Kukje Supermarket had a couple of the hard-to-find Lock & Lock kits and I bought up the last. :-)

  10. Wow Biggie! Congratulations first of all for the nomination. I of course voted already & I hope you will win. I wish I can vote a thousand times for you. GOOD LUCK!
    The lunch starter kit looks great. I have to try my luck on winning this (I’m actually feeling desperate to win this LOL!).

  11. @11 from Macky: Thanks so much for voting for me in the 2007 Food Blog Awards — it’s kind of exciting having all voting last just 5 days (ending this Friday Dec. 14). Fingers crossed, but the competition is formidable!

    Good luck winning the bento starter kit — the winner selection is all done electronically and is out of my hands, but at least it’s for a good cause!

  12. Hi Biggie! Delurking to say thanks for doing this. I am ridiculously excited about the possibility of winning that set of bento gear. I have been enjoying your blog for months now. It is inspiring me to try and better balance my family’s eating habits (although I must say that your pre-schooler has a broader palate than mine does!). Thanks for providing such a wonderful site (and of course I clicked over to vote for you!).

  13. I recently found this site, these bentos are just adorable! I really want to win this, but I have a small question, do we say which box we want and then we just get the box, chopsticks, fork, and baking cups, or do we get the whole big set of items? I’m probably going to enter either way. :3

  14. Oh wait, I just realized what it meant, sorry, ignore that.

  15. @14 from Elli: I understand that you’ve figured it out, but I’ll clarify for anyone else who has the same question. You get the whole big set of items, with one choice: what color bento box & case do you want? Everything else is the same. Good luck!

  16. I don’t do online money stuff. Is there any snail mail way to donate and enter the raffle. I swoon over the thought of the tour!

  17. I am wracked with sorrow! I have not heard back from Pim yet. I may have to resort to persecuting plastic-and-web-using friends. Yesterday I packed both my lunch and dinner in bento and had a grand time with it.

  18. Thank you for this.

  19. @19 from aJ: Sorry you had an unproductive two weeks in the Bay Area! For anyone else looking to explore places to buy bento gear in the San Francisco Bay Area, be sure to check out my local shopping guide here.

  20. @20 from Jay: Oh, I hope you got satisfaction somehow (either via Pim or your plastic-and-web wielding friends) — it’s a good cause! Glad to hear you had fun jumping on the bento bandwagon; it really doesn’t have to be an onerous chore.

  21. @21 from Rethabile: My pleasure! I hope it did well raising money for the U.N. World Food Programme…

  22. Does anyone know where I can get a bento box in the UK? I searched allover and found this page on google! Zelda where in London were you referring to?

    This is quite an old post but I hope somebody can help?

    • there’s a limited selection of bento boxes on