CRS rice bowl lg Image courtesy of Catholic Relief Services

Have you picked up your Rice Bowl yet?

These cardboard Rice Bowls have been around since my childhood; now in its 40th year, the CRS Rice Bowl program has helped Catholic children and families find ways to feed the hungry around the world. This program has grown in those 40 years, expanding from those cardboard donation boxes and classroom materials to include a resource-packed website with videos showing the results of the work CRS Rice Bowl has done, family activities, and even recipes!

CRS Rice Bowl has an app that Christine Johnson and Allison Gingras have both reviewed, but if you aren't a smartphone or tablet user, you still have every opportunity to use the many resources CRS Rice Bowl offers to families.

Image courtesy of Catholic Relief Services Image courtesy of Catholic Relief Services

  • Stories of Hope: a 6-week series, each featuring a different nation where CRS Rice Bowl is active, with videos, a personal story, prayer and facts about the nation in focus.
  • Recipes: eat in solidarity with families around the world by preparing simple meals. CRS Rice Bowl provides a meatless recipe for each week of Lent--and don't miss the recipe archives from past years. Use the dropdown menu to select recipes by year or by country.
  • Family Activities: you'll find plenty of printables in this section. Choose from coloring pages, a placemat filled with facts, prayer cards, quizzes and more.
  • Learn about Lent: watch videos by Cardinal Dolan, Dr. Carolyn Woo, Kerry Weber, Dr. Christopher West and others, and learn about the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
  • Sign up for weekly inspirational emails so you won't miss a thing!
  • Follow CRS Rice Bowl on Twitter for more helpful links.
  • Find out how you can donate. Give through the Rice Bowl program at your parish or donate directly through the CRS website. 25% of your donation stays within your diocese to help local efforts to help neighbors in need; 75% supports the poor and vulnerable in other nations.

Image courtesy of Catholic Relief Services Image courtesy of Catholic Relief Services

We at have a special connection to CRS Rice Bowl. They generously share their recipes with our readers through our Meatless Friday recipe feature. They are regular contributors to, offering stories of world events. And founder Lisa Hendey recently returned from her second CRS trip, this time to Tanzania, where she had the chance to meet people whose lives were changed because of CRS programs.

Check at your parish church this Sunday to get your rice bowl, or donate online. You'll be helping a great cause as you give alms this Lent!

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Copyright 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

Photos copyright Catholic Relief Services.