CRS Rice Bowl serves poor worldwide

Published: February 28, 2017

En Español

"One of the purposes of Lent is to put us back in touch with our brothers and sisters who are poor. When we fast, we feel in our own bodies the hunger they wake up with every morning. When we abstain from meat and give up desserts, we experience a little of the same austerity that they live with all the time. As we accept ashes on our forehead as a reminder of our mortality, we should remember that most people in the world have a much shorter life expectancy than we do. Our Lenten practices of almsgiving, fasting, prayer and abstinence are for the purpose of softening our hearts so that we will open our hearts to everything the Lord is asking of us, and in particular how he wants us to serve him by helping those who are in need." — Bishop Anthony B. Taylor, First Sunday of Lent, 2017

The season of Lent is marked by many traditions among Catholics in the United States. Symbolized by its ubiquitous cardboard box, CRS Rice Bowl has been a tradition for generations of Catholics. Beginning in 1975 as a response to a growing famine in Africa, CRS Rice Bowl today shines a light on the Catholic community’s commitment to poor and vulnerable families. Their lives are improving in measurable ways through the humanitarian programs and services provided by Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) and the Church around the world.

Download the CRS Rice Bowl app to get reflections on the Sunday readings, lives of the saints, stations of the cross, seven sorrows of Mary and more. Resources are available in English and Spanish.

In 2016 the Diocese of Little Rock raised $29,662 for poverty efforts in the state and around the world through CRS Rice Bowl. Twenty-five percent of the money remained in the state to assist low-income people through Catholic Charities of Arkansas. The remaining 75 percent went to support CRS’ humanitarian and development programs overseas, providing assistance to impoverished and vulnerable communities.

Highlighting the Lenten practices of prayerfasting and almsgiving, participants put money in their "rice bowls" that they may have otherwise spent on themselves, while learning about and praying for those who go without food on a regular basis.

Donations may also be made online. The program offers a daily reflection calendar, international Lenten recipes and videos to help participants find out about the daily lives of the people served by the rice bowls. For more information about CRS Rice Bowl, visit CRS Rice Bowl or contact Rebecca Cargile at (501) 664-0340, ext. 355.