Seeking to end world hunger, one search at a time

A search engine can pull up results, but can it also dish out three meals a day? That’s what Vladimir Hruda, David Whitehead, and Salmaan Ayaz, undergraduate students at the University of Richmond, are hoping: The trio of students built, a custom Google search engine that promises to donate 20 grains of rice per search to schools in the developing world, reports the New York Times. Since the search engine rolled out in September, the site reportedly has generated more than 8.5 million grains of rice, or the equivalent of 4,000 meals. "We’re adding tremendous value to everyday searches," Whitehead said. To finance their food fund, the creators donate the fraction of a penny in revenue generated by each search, which is enough to pay for the equivalent of 20 grains of rice. A small portion of the proceeds goes toward server maintenance charges, Hruda said. The search engine works through Fill the Cup, a campaign of the United National World Food Program that delivers food to schools around the world. "Typically charity requires donation," Ayaz said. "But we’re creating the value that we’re donating. There’s no cost to us, or anyone, for doing this."

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