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Rice Bowls Available for Pick Up In the Church This Weekend

Your cardboard Rice Bowl is a tool for collecting Lenten alms and a chance for the whole family to put their faith into action!

Every year, in preparation for the Lenten season, Holy Infant encourages families and individuals to bring home a Rice Bowl from Catholic Relief Services to collect alms throughout Lent. For many participants, Rice Bowls are placed in a central location in the home and daily alms are given in the form of coins and small bills. Rice Bowls will be available for pick up this weekend (February 10/11)  in the Atrium and Hospitality room and collected on March 24 and 26. 

Stories of Hope from CRS Rice Bowls

Click here to view stories from communities served through CRS Rice Bowls around the world 

History of Rice Bowls

More than 40 years ago, Catholics in the United States wanted to respond to famine in Africa. Could people who were hungry and starving be helped through Lenten prayers, fasting and almsgiving? The answer was yes — and the help came in the form of a small cardboard box, marking the beginning of “Operation Rice Bowl” in 1975 in parishes in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Today, CRS Rice Bowl is a tradition for millions of Catholics in the U.S., who employ the Lenten pillars of praying, fasting and almsgiving to change the lives of others while enriching their own. CRS Rice Bowl is available in paper, web and through a mobile app in both English and Spanish.

In 1976, Operation Rice Bowl was adopted by the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops as a national program. In 1977, they voted to make Operation Rice Bowl the official program of Catholic Relief Services.

Countries that benefit from Rice Bowls

Each year CRS Rice Bowl funds are directed to between 40 and 45 countries where CRS operates humanitarian response and development programs.

How is the money used?

Lenten alms go to alleviate hunger and poverty in communities overseas and in the U.S.: seventy-five percent of gifts support CRS’ humanitarian programs around the world, including in the countries featured in the Lenten calendar. Some examples include:


25 percent of gifts remain in each U.S. diocese where they are given to hunger and poverty alleviation efforts in those communities. Each diocese uses this differently. Contact your local CRS Diocesan Director to find out how the local 25 percent is used in your diocese.