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CRS Rice Bowl

About Rice Bowl

During Lent our community will participate in CRS Rice Bowl, a faith-in-action program that invites us to reflect on the challenges of global hunger—and our responsibility to respond to the needs of our global human family. We will be reminded through the Gospel story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 that if we commit to sharing what we have with those in need, trusting in God's abundance, there is more than enough to feed everyone.

Through our Lenten prayers, fasting and almsgiving, we can respond to the call to ensure that all our brothers and sisters are fed good, nutritious food that gives them what they need to fulfill their God-given potential. During this holy season, it is important to come together as a family and reflect on the cross of hunger and lack of proper nutrition, that so many of our brothers and sisters both near and far are forced to carry. In so doing, we pledge to stand alongside these members of our human family, supporting them as the Gospel calls us to do.

Please consider these suggestions in your family’s Lenten plan:

• Use your CRS Rice Bowl and Lenten Calendar daily to guide your prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

• Read the Stories of Hope and daily reflections to inspire your Lenten journey—and guide your Lenten almsgiving.

• Prepare simple, meatless meals on the Fridays of Lent to eat in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world.

• Visit to watch videos of the people and communities you support through your Lenten gifts to CRS Rice Bowl. (Clicking on the link you will be taken to an external site.)

We will collect your CRS Rice Bowls or donations at the end of Lent, so stay tuned to learn more.


Get Rice Bowl recipes here! (Clicking on the link you will be taken to an external site.)



Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States.

CRS is motivated by the example of Jesus Christ to assist poor and suffering people in more than 100 countries on the basis of need, without regard to race, religion or nationality.

CRS is efficient and effective. In 2015, 93 percent of our expenditures went to CRS programming that benefits poor people overseas. CRS’ programs touch more than 100 million lives.


CRS Rice Bowl is Catholic Relief Services’ Lenten program for families and faith communities in the United States who want to put their faith into action. Through CRS Rice Bowl, participants are invited to hear stories about their brothers and sisters in need around the world, and devote their Lenten prayers, fasting and alms to change the lives of those who suffer in poverty.

Participants journey through the 40 days of Lent with a collection of daily reflections and activities included in the CRS Rice Bowl calendar.


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 and web 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.


In 2019, nearly 14,000 Catholic parishes and schools across the U.S. participated in CRS Rice Bowl.