FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Brittany Wichtendahl, Catholic Relief Services, brittany.wichtendahl@crs.org, 757-748-5003

Help the Least of Our Sisters and Brothers This Lenten Season

CRS’ Rice Bowl program benefits those overseas, at home suffering from hunger, poverty

BALTIMORE, MD – November 1, 2020 –

As the world continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, including an increased number of those going hungry, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is asking Catholics to remember Matthew 25:40 as CRS Rice Bowl begins. As the gospel tells us, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” This verse calls on Catholics to reach out and help those most in need.

“During the Lenten season so many Catholics around the world choose to make a sacrifice,” said Beth Martin, CRS’ director of campaign action and content. “Using CRS’ Rice Bowl materials, Catholics here in the United States have the ability to turn that sacrifice into a gift. By giving something up, like that daily cup of coffee, and putting that money into the Rice Bowl donation box, Catholics can go a step above and beyond and look out for the least of our sisters and brothers.”

CRS Rice Bowl, the Lenten program that began in 1975, will begin on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Each year, families from more than 14,000 communities across the country use nearly 4 million rice bowls for almsgiving, which they turn in at the end of Lent. These donations make a difference overseas and here in the United States, with 75% going to CRS programming in targeted countries and the remaining 25% staying in the local diocese it came from. AS COVID-19 increases unemployment and hunger worldwide, those donations are lifesaving for communities overseas and here at home.

In response to the increase of world hunger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CRS is working with partners to provide emergency food rations in more than 30 countries as well promoting COVID-19 prevention. awareness.

“The donations from CRS Rice Bowl allow families everywhere to overcome the hurdles placed in front of them,” said Martin. “And in the past year, there have been a lot. COVID-19 is increasing global hunger and malnutrition, and several natural disasters have left thousands without a home or without crops to feed their families and communities. Everyone everywhere has struggled.”

Each year, CRS Rice Bowl highlights communities from different countries around the world. This year, Rice Bowl participants are introduced to the people of Madagascar, El Salvador and Timor-Leste and how they are working hard to overcome the factors that can lead to hunger, including drought and flooding.

“The people of Madagascar, El Salvador and Timor-Leste are resourceful,” said Martin. “They use all of the tools available to them to fight against hunger and provide for themselves and their families. The donations from CRS Rice Bowl add to that toolbox. What Catholics give up for Lent can change lives.”

CRS Rice Bowl materials are designed for families, parishes, elementary and middle school students, high school students, universities and dioceses. They are available online in both English and Spanish. Rice Bowls and posters can be ordered online for free by calling 800-222-0025 or visiting crsricebowl.org.

Editors, Reporters and Bloggers:

For photos, FAQs, social media memes, web banners, and bios please visit the CRS Rice Bowl Media Kit online.

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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 crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.