9 Q&A: Got a good slow cooker recipe? How to enter a split-the-pot contest for you & charity

CINCINNATI - SparkPeople.com is awarding $10,000 for the best slow cooker recipe to celebrate the recent re-launch of its recipes and cooking website, SparkRecipes.com. 

The winner will split the prize money with a hunger-fighting organization of their choice.The entry period runs until midnight Nov. 6, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 2.

9 questions for Joe Robb, digital marketing manager for SparkPeople

1.  What is SparkPeople and how did it get its start?

SparkPeople was formed in 2001 by our founder and CEO, Chris Downie, and a strong team of core employees, many of whom are still with the company. Chris had previously helped others to set goals and improve their lives, and he wanted to bring this spark of goodwill and intention to the rest of the world.

While SparkPeople.com was originally a goal-setting site, we quickly learned that our members were interested in fitness, nutrition and health goals in particular, so we refocused as a health and fitness site in 2002. The advertising on SparkPeople.com (and our sister recipes site, SparkRecipes.com) allows us to help millions of people improve their lives, for free.

2.  What is the mission and vision of SparkPeople.com?

Our mission is to SPARK millions of PEOPLE to reach their goals and lead healthier lives. We offer nutrition, health, and fitness tools, support, and resources that are 100 percent free, so it’s easy for our members to get and stay healthy. We want everyone who interacts with us to be healthier, fitter and happier.

3.  Why is there a need for the services SparkPeople provides?

People are finding it harder and harder to stay healthy and eat well. With our fitness and diet tracking tools, expert advice from trainers and dietitians, and our positive, motivational community of SparkPeople members, we’ve created a powerful resource  that can help anyone live a healthier life.

4.  How is SparkPeople different in meeting those needs?

SparkPeople is different because we offer world-class fitness and tracking tools, excellent nutrition and fitness information and a powerful community that anyone can use, for free.

5.  What is SparkRecipes.com, and how is it different from other recipe websites?

SparkRecipes.com is our recipes and cooking site. Exercise and tracking are huge parts of keeping fit and staying healthy, but what you put into your body is just as important. SparkRecipes.com is a place where people can find and save healthy recipes, learn kitchen tips, and watch cooking videos. Best of all, it’s free. 

6.  Why is SparkRecipes.com being re-launched?

We re-launched SparkRecipes to give our members a well-designed, easy-to-use site. We’ve made the site more visually appealing, and we created new ways for visitors to find recipes they’d like. One of our most useful new features are our curated pages, which gather our best recipes around a particular theme, such as holidays, seasons, or cooking style. For example, our “Slow Cooker Recipes” page offers tried-and-true recipes and slow cooking tips, all in one place.

7.  What inspired the "split-the-pot" slow cooker recipe contest?

We chose this contest because slow cooker recipes fit our goal of helping people eat healthy, easy-to-prepare food. We came up with the idea to split the pot between the winner and a hunger-based charity because we wanted to use this opportunity to make a positive impact in the community of the winner. Hunger affects 50 million Americans every day, and our mission is to help everyone live a healthier life, no matter what their situation. 

8.  Who will judge the recipes, and how will they be judged?

Fifteen recipes will be chosen to enter the finalist round. Five recipes with the most popular votes will advance to the finalist round, and so will another five recipes with the highest social media engagement. The last five recipes will be chosen by our editorial team.

SparkPeople employees will make, taste and judge the 15 recipes that make it to the finalist round; those finalist recipes will be chosen by popular votes on SparkRecipes.com. During the final judging round, recipes will be rated by taste, appearance, and ease of preparation. The highest-rated recipe will win the contest. 

It's interesting to note that SparkPeople will be moving from our current location in Oakley to 310 Culvert Street near Sawyer Point in downtown Cincinnati in a couple of weeks.  This means we will be cooking up these 15 recipes in our brand new location!

Next page: Tips to increase your chances of winning & contest rules

9.  Do you have any tips for our readers to increase their chances of winning?

Sure do, a couple. First, make sure that you’re submitting a recipe that is your own, and isn’t copyrighted. The recipe can be based upon another recipe you’ve found, but the recipe you enter has to be your own. Also, include an original picture of the finished dish.

Since popular voting will help get your recipe to the judging round, think about recipes you’d want to vote for. If your entry has a good picture, easy-to-understand directions, a nice description or story, people will be more likely to vote for it. And finally, ask your friends to vote for your recipe. You don’t have to create an account to vote, and you can vote once per day until we close voting.

Everyone in the finalist round wins something. The grand prize winner picks up $5,000 for themselves and $5,000 for their favorite hunger-relief charity. The 14 runners-up will each receive a $100 Amazon gift card.
Good luck!

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