Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl Lenten Program

"It is especially urgent now to take care of those who hunger for food and for dignity . . . those who struggle to carry on. And this we must do in a real way, as real as the Bread that Jesus gives us. Genuine closeness is needed, as are true bonds of solidarity" — Pope Francis

For Lent, For Life

Rice Bowl's Lenten program is an opportunity for families to join together in as a community to participate in the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Through Rice Bowl, CRS provides families resources to strengthen their faith while learning ways to fight food insecurity around the world.

Along with with resources for prayer, fasting and learning, Rice Bowl has a recurring fundraising component. 75% of donations raised though this go to funding Catholic Relief Services’ agriculture, health and educational projects overseas. 25% is distributed as grants in Western Washington for local anti-hunger projects.

Rice Bowl Program Resources for Parishes

Local Grants

Along with resources for prayer, fasting and learning, Rice Bowl has a recurring fundraising component. 75% of donations raised through this go to funding Catholic Relief Services’ agriculture, health and educational projects overseas. 25% is distributed as grants in Western Washington for local anti-hunger projects.

2022 Rice Bowl Grants and Garden Grants:  Thank you to all those who have applied for Rice Bowl Grants this year.  The application process is now closed.

The 2023 Rice Bowl Grants process will open around December 2022 and close in February 2023.

Rice Bowl's History

More than 40 years ago, Catholics in the United States wanted to respond to famine in Africa. 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. 

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.