Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

CRS Rice Bowl Raises Funds for Global and Local Assistance

Posted by on in CCDOC Blog
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 2490
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

When one thinks of the good works of Catholic Relief Services across the globe, what often comes to mind is the provision of food to hungry people, the response to natural disasters like the typhoon that struck the Philippines in late 2013, or the current efforts being made to stem the crisis of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

In the Diocese of Charlotte, 25% of Rice Bowl funds distributed support the CRS Rice Bowl Mini Grant Program offered in the fall.  This past year, in November 2013, $1,000 grants were distributed to sixteen parishes of the diocese.  Grants were awarded for a variety of ministries including food pantries, community gardens, thrift stores, St. Vincent de Paul Societies, children’s nutrition programs, and general outreach to families in need.  The annual CRS Lenten Rice Bowl Collection and the CRS Mini-Grant Program are coordinated by Catholic Charities' Office of Social Concerns and Advocacy.  

What did these $1,000 grants mean to these parish based ministries?  The Society of St. Vincent de Paul/ St. Eugene, St Lawrence, St. Joan of Arc Conference used its $1,000 Rice Bowl grant to support its ministry of offering financial assistance to families in need.  In an email report sent to the Office of Social Concerns and Advocacy, conference president Robert Phillips stated that grant funds “helped pay to keep power and heating fuel in place for families in our area that would have experienced power disconnects and heating fuel shortages during the winter months when heat is so critical. We were also able to help some of our clients avoid eviction from their homes and brought food to them as part of our visit.”

Knights of Columbus Council #10495 in Albemarle used its $1,000 grant to support its Food for Families programs, with the funds earmarked to buy food items to help fill Christmas baskets last holiday season and buy the food needed by the council to serve dinner at the local Soup Kitchen on four Saturdays.  Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Hayesville was able to use its $1,000 grant to help purchase turkeys, hams and chickens for the Clay County Food Pantry to assist families in need in Clay County.

The CRS website has a short video in which CRS shares its gratitude for Rice Bowl participation.  In this video, information is provided on how to join CRS as an advocate to fight global hunger, in partnership with the United Sates Conference of Catholic Bishops Catholics Confront Global Poverty Campaign.  Go to www.crs.org/hunger-pledge

In October, CRS and its sister Caritas agencies around the world, including Catholic Charities, focus on the Church's efforts to combat and end hunger.  In October, the world community of nations celebrates World Food Day on October 16. 

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. CRS alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in 93 countries without regard to race, religion or nationality. Wherever CRS works, the work is accomplished in partnership with local Church dioceses and archdioceses.  The relief and development work of CRS is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.  CRS also serves Catholics in the United States by inviting them to live out their faith as part of one human family.

 

By Joseph Purello, Director of Catholic Charities’ Office of Social Concerns and Advocacy, and the CRS Diocesan Director.  This article is adapted from an article that appeared in the September 12, 2014 edition of the Catholic News Herald.

 

Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte © 2014