Media Releases



Brittany Wichtendahl

Catholic Relief Services


Show Love for Our Global Family Through Catholic Relief Services’ Rice Bowl

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, Nov. 1, 2023 –  Catholic Relief Services is calling on Catholics across the United States to show their love for our sisters and brothers around the world by participating in the annual Lenten program, CRS Rice Bowl.

“Ash Wednesday always marks the beginning of CRS Rice Bowl,” said Beth Martin, CRS’ director of Formation and Mobilization . “And this year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14, or Saint Valentine’s Day, and we think CRS Rice Bowl is the perfect way to celebrate the love we have for our global family.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” When we receive Jesus through the Eucharist, our hearts are filled with his love and the call to share that love.

“During Lent, we are meant to express the love that we feel when we receive the Eucharist through prayer, fasting and almsgiving,” said Martin. “CRS Rice Bowl gives us the means to do that – to put our love into action.”

Alms gathered through CRS Rice Bowl primarily go toward hunger and poverty alleviation programs in countries where CRS operates, however 25% of those funds stay in the diocese where they are collected. CRS Rice Bowl grants are given to local organizations that prioritize ending hunger and poverty in their communities.

“Love can be expressed in so many ways,” said Martin. “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.”

In previous years, schools and parishes participating in CRS Rice Bowl have held in-person events to collect donations saved during Lent. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many parishes have developed online community giving pages to accept alms. CRS Rice Bowl participants are encouraged to reach out to their local parishes to determine whether in-person collections will occur or if they should donate via an online community giving page.

As always, direct donations to CRS are accepted online, by phone or mail.


By Phone:

  • Call 877-435-7277 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and tell the operator that the gift is for CRS Rice Bowl.

By Mail:

  • Please write “CRS Rice Bowl” on the memo line of your check and mail it to:

Catholic Relief Services

Attn: CRS Rice Bowl

P.O. Box 5200

Harlan, IA 51593-0700

CRS Rice Bowls can be ordered in quantities of 25 at Materials designed for families, parishes, elementary and middle school students, high school students, universities and dioceses are also available.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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