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Posted on Dec 14, 2009 in admin, Bento, Giveaway, SF Bay Area Local, Shopping | 13 comments

Bento gear on Menu for Hope 6

Bento gear on Menu for Hope 6


Menu for Hope 6The holidays are a time for giving, and in the food blog world that’s come to mean the Menu For Hope food blog annual fundraising campaign, now in its 6th 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 (it raised over US$250,000 over the last three years for the program!). Specifically, this year’s donations will go to the WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P), a new initiative that helps smallholder and low-income farmers supply food to WFP’s global operations, improving farming practices and putting more cash into their pockets.

In Menu for Hope, food bloggers around the world offer a variety of food-related items for the online raffle. Every US$10 you donate earns you one “ticket” to bid on an item of your choice. At the end of the campaign, tickets are drawn and  results are announced on Chez Pim on Monday, January 18, 2010.

A full list of bid items is will be posted at Chez Pim, and the Western U.S. regional prizes will be shown at Gluten-Free Girl. 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 prize for Menu for Hope 6 charity

I’m happy to offer another bento kit for bidding this year, with products courtesy of Skater Company, Japan’s largest manufacturer of bento boxes, and ZESPRI, the New Zealand kiwifruit company. I’ll also give each of the winners a personal tour of San Francisco’s Japantown if you’re in town (details below).

What’s included:

  1. “Winnie the Pooh Goes Bananas” Bento Box Kit and tour of San Francisco’s Japantown, by Biggie (me).
    Pack adorable lunches with unusual Winnie the Pooh food shaping tools and a banana-themed “Putifresh” bento set. The yellow bento set includes a watertight bento box, two matching bags, chopsticks, elastic bento belt and a Zespri “spife” (spoon/knife combo) for packing whole kiwifruit. The tools include a boiled egg shaper, sandwich cutter, onigiri rice ball shaper, vegetable cutter, pancake ring and silicone food cups, all shaped like Winnie the Pooh. The Pooh-themed tools are high quality, direct from the Skater Company in Japan. Make lunch as tasty as your own pot of honey! (prize code UW20)

(Read on for full details and instructions on how to enter.)

“Winnie the Pooh Goes Bananas” Bento Box Kit and personal tour of San Francisco’s Japantown (prize code: UW20)

Bento prize for Menu for Hope 6 charity

The Winnie the Pooh goods are all marked “For Sale in Japan Only”, so are uncommon outside of Japan. The manufacturer’s care instructions are noted below, but I often put these sorts of things in the dishwasher (no heated dry cycle) without adverse effects (see my guide on caring for your bento gear). The kit consists of the following:

Winnie the Pooh bento tools (closed)

  • Winnie the Pooh pancake ring with separate plastic faceplate for making Pooh’s face with cocoa or furikake. Ring can also be also be used for frying eggs. Oil inside of ring before use, hand washing recommended, not microwave or dishwasher safe.
  • Winnie the Pooh-shaped reusable silicone food cups for packing side dishes in a bento lunch. Microwave- and oven-safe.
  • Winnie the Pooh cutters and press that creates an imprint of Pooh’s face on vegetables, cheese or small cookies.

Winnie the Pooh bento tools (closed)

  • Winnie the Pooh sandwich cutter and press that creates an imprint of Pooh’s face. Can also be used for cookies. Hand washing recommended, keep away from heat, not microwave or dishwasher safe.
  • Winnie the Pooh onigiri rice ball mold with handle and removable front and back. Scoop hot rice directly into the mold and use the pusher to compress. Saves your hands from hot rice burns, and improves food safety. Keep away from heat, not microwave or dishwasher safe.
  • Winnie the Pooh egg mold for making hard-boiled eggs shaped like Winnie the Pooh. See my egg molding tutorial for details.

"Putifresh" bento set

  • “Putifresh” yellow banana-patterned one-tier bento box with watertight lid with flaps. Total capacity of 480ml, so it’s a good size for a child according to the bento box size guidelines. Microwave-safe except for the lid. Hand washing recommended, not dishwasher- or oven-safe.
  • Matching Putifresh cotton fabric lunch bag (kinchaku) with drawstring. The bento box fits nicely inside.
  • Matching Putifresh insulated lunch bag with cotton cover and handles. Clean with a damp cloth; washing in a washing machine not recommended.
  • Matching Putifresh chopsticks and carrying case. Dishwasher-safe with air drying (no super-hot dry cycles like in industrial dishwashers).
  • Matching Putifresh elastic bento band, for use with two-tier bento boxes (not included).
  • Yellow “spife” (spoon/knife) from Zespri, for use when packing a whole kiwifruit in a lunch. Use the gently serrated knife edge to cut the kiwi in half, then use the pointy spoon end to scoop out the fruit and eat. Dishwasher-safe.

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 that I wrote about in the SF Bay Area shopping guide for bento gear. Have your own Japanese speaker show you around and translate anything you have questions about!

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.

(Disclaimer: I have no commercial affiliations with Skater, but I worked with Zespri on a kiwifruit event this past year.)

Here’s what you need to do for a chance at winning the bento prize:

  1. Choose a bid item or bid items of your choice from our Menu for Hope main bid item list.
  2. Go to the donation site at Firstgiving and make a donation.
  3. Please specify which bid item you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per bid item, and please use the bid item code.  Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a bid item of your choice. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02 - 2xEU01, 3xEU02. The bid item code is UW20 for the “Winnie the Pooh Goes Bananas” Bento Box Kit with Tour.
  4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
  5. Please check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we can contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

Check back on Chez Pim on Monday, January 18, 2010  for the results of the raffle.



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  1. Okay, this is just too adorable! Kawaii!

  2. So I made my donation today. Winning a prize or not, this seems like such a great organization to donate to. I will definitely keep an eye out for Menu of Hope 7!

  3. I was reading about your winnie the pooh rice-press. Where you said to put hot rice into it, then later said to keep away from heat. If it’s hot enough to burn your hands, isn’t that considered also, heat? A little confusing there is all is why I mentioned it.

  4. @4 from Lawknee: Ah, the rice press can stand up to the heat of hot rice, but not higher direct heat like putting it in the oven or in a frying pan. Hope that clears it up!

  5. You have a great site here. I have a site myself where people come from around the world to debate on popular issues. I’d like to exchange links with you to help spread some traffic around between us. If you would like to, please leave a comment under my “Compadres” page letting me know when you’ve added my link and I’ll return the favor.

    Keep up the good work.


  6. I am starting to start my own “bento lifestyle”, and your blog is giving me so much help! Thanks a lot.

  7. Hope you’re doing OK. Thanks for all you do.

  8. Where are you Biggie!!! I miss your posts…. hope your OK…?

  9. Just checking back in. Hoping you’re doing OK!

  10. Where are you I miss your posts hope every thing is ok….

  11. hi,
    my name is gala babina and i work for - russian web-site dedicated to lifestyle. we have several blogs on different topics. one of them is about food.
    you can check it at (sorry it’s all in russian)
    now we are working on an international project about bento art for the publishing in our blog. we like your work very much and would be happy if you participate. The point is to choose one of the coming events of the year 2010 and make your own bento about it. This can be either a world famous event (presidential elections, handron collider launch, olympic games etc) or something personal which is important for you only (your favourite rock band’s new album, birth of a child, a trip to the other part of the world etc).
    we are collecting the photos of the bentos till monday, next week (february 8th) - is it ok for you?
    looking forward to your reply
    kindest regards

  12. that stuff is super cute. my weelet would dig it.

  13. Where are you I miss your posts hope every thing is ok….