Faith-based organizations help others during Lent

MEGAN HART Contributing Writer

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Rice isn’t normally the first thing that comes to mind when you’re trying to help others, but for those working with Catholic Relief Services, it’s a top priority.

Operation Rice Bowl takes place during the Catholic period of Lent. The bowls are used to collect change throughout the season, then given back to the organization after Lent.

The operation is one of the most beneficial programs of Catholic Relief Services.

“Some people pay when they break their Lenten promise or put a dollar in on Sundays or put the money that they would have otherwise spent on whatever they gave up in the bowl instead,” said Maddy Fox, psychology sophomore and lifelong rice bowl participant,.

According to Catholic Relief services, over 13,000 faith communities are involved with Operation Rice Bowl. Seventy-five percent of the donations go toward food security to over 40 countries. Twenty-five percent of the donations stay in the United States.

Katie O’Dowd, business freshman who is involved with the program, explained that Catholic Relief Services mixes both charity and justice with the rice bowl contributions. They set up education programs as well as tackle the initial problem of hunger.

“It is a great way to add to your Lenten promise,” O’Dowd said.

While Lent is typically a time to give up something, many decide to add something such as the rice bowl instead of taking something away.

“While it’s a good time for self-improvement, it’s also important to be conscious of making a sacrifice for others,” Fox said.

Rice bowls can be obtained at local Catholic churches and in the Loyola University Community Action Program office.

Megan Hart can be reached at

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