Families: Change world with CRS Rice Bowl

Published: February 8, 2024

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Click on the button above to donate online to CRS Rice Bowl for the Diocese of Little Rock. Seventy-five percent of the money raised goes to support CRS’ humanitarian and development programs outside the United States, while 25 percent remains in our local diocese and is used to assist low-income families through Catholic Charities of Arkansas.

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"Dear Jesus, you call us, as members of the body of Christ, to serve one another. This Lent, may we be your eyes, to see with compassion. May we be your hands and feet, to serve with love. By encountering you in the Bread of Life, may we joyfully share bread for life with all members of our global family. Amen"

During Lent, we are called to repentance and deeper communion with God and our neighbors through prayerfasting and almsgiving. Giving alms through CRS Rice Bowl can make a global difference for millions of our sisters and brothers experiencing the greatest need. Plus, it is a great way for families to experience the fruits of Lent together.

This Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Lenten project encourages participants to perform a simple sacrifice by substituting a low-cost meatless meal for more expensive dining once a week, and put the money saved in the cardboard "rice bowl." 

If you didn't get a rice bowl at church or school, you can download the materials to make one for free. You can also donate online. Use the Lenten calendar each day to practice the Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Connecting the Eucharist to CRS Rice Bowl, Beth Martin, CRS’ director of formation and mobilization, pointed out when we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, our hearts are filled with his love and the call to share that love.

“CRS Rice Bowl gives us the means to do that — to put our love into action," she said. “Love can be expressed in so many ways ... even through a small act such as giving up your daily cup of coffee and instead, donating that money to CRS Rice Bowl. That small sacrifice — that small act of love — can change the lives of so many people.”

Each year, CRS Rice Bowl highlights families from countries that benefit from this project. This year, families in Uganda, El Salvador and Indonesia are featured. Through their stories, rice bowl participants learn how they overcome factors that lead to hunger, including flooding and drought.

In 2023, nearly 13,000 Catholic parishes and schools across the United States participated in CRS Rice Bowl. In the Diocese of Little Rock, $20,978.54 was collected through the program.

Seventy-five percent of the money raised goes to support CRS’ humanitarian and development programs outside the United States, while 25 percent remains in the local diocese from which the donation came. The 25 percent that remained in Arkansas was $5,244.64, which was used to assist low-income families through Catholic Charities of Arkansas.

Since its inception in 1975, more than $330 million has been given through CRS Rice Bowl to support programs that prevent hunger and poverty worldwide. Of that, $82.5 million went to programs in the U.S. through local dioceses and $247.5 million went to CRS programs overseas.

In addition to dropping money in rice bowls, participants can take advantage of the program's prayer resources and reflections, the daily calendardigital retreat, weekly stories of hope that introduce families from around the world and recipes from various countries for meatless meals that can be enjoyed on Fridays during Lent. These materials are designed for familiesparisheseducators and dioceses in English and SpanishFor more information, visit CRS Rice Bowl or contact Megan Moore at (501) 664-0340, ext. 379.