Inspired by the popular “Ice Bucket Challenge” that went viral on social media last month, a socially relevant version is now making its wave in India – the” Rice Bucket Challenge” where it encourages people to donate rice to the poor families in ” bucket or packet” form.

Pioneering the Rice Bucket Challenge in the Philippines is Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, the producer and distributor of Dona Maria premium rice varieties. He launched his own version of the “Rice Bucket Challenge” in a call for the more fortunate Filipinos to help the unfortunate, most especially those that live below the poverty line and lack the stable means in meeting the basic life needs. These are the families that consume less than the amount of food needed on a daily basis and experience anywhere from moderate to severe hunger.

The “Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong Rice Bucket Challenge” has the objective of the gift of health by giving away highly nutritious, full of antioxidants, fiber-rich brown rice to feed the underprivileged Filipino families that are most prone to malnutrition.

To kick off the Rice Bucket Challenge, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong announced during his birthday last Sept, 4, 2014 that he shall be giving this gift of health to 5,000 poor families. Lim also gave all employees of Sterling Paper Group of Companies a packet of brown rice each and subsequently challenged them to participate in the Rice Bucket Challenge by giving a packet of rice to the most needy in their neighborhood, share a picture of the deed on facebook (one need not show one’s face) hash tag #RiceBucketChallengeph, invite as many friends to like the picture and encourage them to do the same by posting “How to Participate.”

Every year hereafter, on his birth month, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong has pledged to this undertaking. Last Friday, the 12th of September, an initial of 100 poor families received a 5 kilo bucket of Doña Maria Brown Rice.

“Many of our fellow Filipinos are poor and hardly have enough to buy rice. How much more partake of brown rice that is rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, B-complex and manganese that are all essential for a healthy body?” said Lim. “A lack in nutrition may result to a weak labor and workforce. We hope to start the awareness that such nutritious rice is very much within reach to everyone.”

Lim also said that he wanted to change the notion that brown rice is “dirty rice” or “the poor man’s rice.” “The truth is, brown rice is now being eaten by health-conscious showbiz personalities and the rich, primarily due to its tremendous health benefits.”

“Brown rice is also ideal for breastfeeding mothers. It is a super food that can equip new mothers with adequate milk supply. It keeps the mother’s energy levels up and provides the calories needed to make the best-quality milk for the baby”, according to Lim.

“I enjoin everyone to participate in the Rice Bucket Challenge. It only takes sharing a packet or a bucket of rice from one’s very own kitchen. Giving even just a kilo of rice would mean the world to the poor, starving families. No amount of sharing is too small and no matter how humble it may seem, the concerted effort of many can be a gigantic leap towards easing the hunger of our fellow Filipinos. Not just a drop in the bucket. This single drop when simultaneously done by many can have the ripple effect, making an ocean of difference!” per Dr. Henry Lim.

Rice Bucket Challenge Mechanics

Objective:

Help feed the poorest of the poor through the Rice Bucket Challenge.

How to Participate?

1. Gather anywhere from a packet to a bucket of uncooked rice (bigas) from your kitchen.

2. Give the packet or bucket of uncooked rice to the nearest, most needy individual or family.

3. Take a picture of you handing over the uncooked packet or bucket of rice to the needy individual or family. Note: One need not show his or her face in the picture.

4. Post your “Rice Bucket Challenge” picture on your facebook and/or instagram, hash tag #RiceBucketChallengeph and tag all your friends and ask them to take up the challenge.

Why Brown Rice?

Brown rice is the “unrefined” version of white rice. Brown rice, unlike white rice, still has the side hull and bran. This provides “natural wholeness” to the grain and makes it rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium.

The healthy benefits of brown rice are listed below:

Rich in Selenium

Brown rice is rich in selenium which reduces the risk for developing common illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.

High in Manganese

One cup of brown rice provides 80% of our daily manganese requirements. Manganese helps the body synthesize fats. Manganese also benefits our nervous and reproductive systems.

Rich in Naturally-Occurring Oils

Naturally occurring oils present in the bran are beneficial for the body as these healthful fats help normalize cholesterol levels.

Helps Regulate Weight

The fiber content of brown rice keeps bowel function at its peak since it makes digestion that much easier. Brown rice is the perfect addition to the daily diet for those seeking bowel regularity. In addition, brown rice also makes the tummy feel full which translates to smaller meal portions.

Considered Whole Grain

Wholes grains are proven to reduce the buildup of arterial plaque and reduce the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.

Rich in Anti-Oxidants

This is one of the best kept secrets regarding brown rice. The antioxidant capacity of brown rice is the same level as those of blueberries, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables.

High in Fiber

Brown rice is high in fiber and on top of the list for foods that can help prevent colon cancer. These fibers attach to substances that cause cancer as well as to toxins in the body, thus eliminating and keeping them from attaching to the colon wall.

A Slow-Release Sugar

Magnesium has been found to improve insulin’s response to dietary sugar, and improve the action of insulin in regulating blood sugar level. Studies show that those who consume one half cup of brown rice daily reduce their risks of developing diabetes by 60%.

Perfect Baby Food

Brown rice cereal or brown rice itself is the perfect baby’s first food due to the dense natural nutrition and fiber it contains. This provides rapidly growing babies and toddlers the nutrient rich diets to help maintain rapid growth cycles.

Vitamin B Complex

This helps fuel our body by converting blood sugar into energy.

Candida Yeast Infections

The natural digestibility of brown rice coupled with the high fiber content can help sensitive digestive systems heal from an overgrowth of candida organisms.

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