CRS Rice Bowl takes Lenten practices of praying, fasting and giving alms and combines it to help people all over the world, one bowl of rice at a time.
In order to participate, Catholic Relief Services sends cardboard rice bowls to parishes or schools, so money can be put inside and donated to give the hungry around the world a meal.
The money raised during Lent helps people on different continents, and also in dioceses in the United States.
Director of Life and Justice Ministries (New Jersey, USA)
“As Catholics, we are a both/and people called to support people who are hungry here and around the world. Because we believe that every person is a child of God. Every person has human dignity and so is worth supporting.”
One example is 16-year-old Annet in Uganda. As a refugee from South Sudan, she's cared for her three younger siblings since her parents died, struggling to find food for them. Each day, she cooks, cleans and gets water for them in very unstable conditions.
Christyan is another refugee. After fleeing from Sri Lanka to India during the war, he returned home and found his family's farm destroyed. Married with three children, CRS helped him restart his farm so he could be self-sustainable. They have also been instrumental in his kids' schooling, so they can have a future one day.
Since beginning in 1975, nearly $300 million dollars have been raised during each year's 40 days of Lent. Accompanied by prayer and fasting, lives have been touched and changed as a result, both in those giving the money and reaping the benefits.