Group lifting bags of rice

Raising awareness one grain of rice at a time

Rice, bench presses and social media. Who knew putting these three together could lead to over 690 kilograms donated to fight hunger?


Over the last few months, local Sydneysider, Gunwoo Kim, aka “The Rice Guy”, has captivated the online world with a unique and charitable twist to a trending challenge that has gone viral.

The idea was simple: bench press 1 gram of rice for every follower Gunwoo accumulated. 



Now with over 100,000 followers later and a staggering 9.5 million views on the top-performing video, Gunwoo is teaming up with local brands, influencers and his community to continue his unique challenge, donating the bench-pressed rice to Foodbank NSW & ACT to support families doing it tough.



Gunwoo Kim says,


I never anticipated the overwhelming response to the rice bench press challenge. Now that it has taken off, I want to use this platform to make a positive impact on the world. I’ve had the pleasure partnering with brands such as The Kimchi Company, Cuckoo Australia and many others keen to jump onboard to help with donating the rice lifted. 


Also collaborating with influencers and these brands along side my platform allows us to turn the spotlight onto important social issues, such as hunger. The followers are essentially all part of this journey too as each follower accounts for an extra 1 gram of rice donation. In my perspective, the take-home message is that we all need to do our part.”


Gunwoo and two trolleys full of rice



Gunwoo donating rice to Foodbank NSW & ACT



Andy Moore, Foodbank NSW & ACT’s Marketing & Fundraising General Manager says,


It’s not every day we get to be part of something so uniquely impactful, and we’re grateful to Gunwoo for joining us in the fight against hunger and making a tangible difference to the lives of Australians going hungry every day.


Sadly, 1.2 million households experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months which is 37% of all NSW & ACT households and 105,000 more than in 2022 – something we’re absolutely committed to changing. It is through initiatives like this, and the generosity of our communities that we’re able to do something about that. With the support of people like Gunwoo, we’re able to distribute over 65,000 meals every day to Aussies doing it tough.”


World’s First Global Rice Bench



Gunwoo’s recent video saw his rice nation community joining in on the challenge from across the world in the World’s First Global Rice Bench.  



From across Australia, Mexico, South Korea, Netherlands, the USA and more, his community came together in full force to show their support, raising awareness of the need for food relief, with every gram of rice lifted being matched and then donated to Foodbank NSW & ACT.


You can follow Gunwoo’s journey on Instagram @gunwoobench or at 

Connect with us on Instagram and Facebook for more exciting updates as this unique challenge continues to feed more hungry families doing it tough. 


If you or someone you know needs support, please visit our Find Food portal to connect with a Foodbank community partner in your area. 



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