The Rice Bowl program, a longstanding Lenten donation effort, is set again for western Oregon Catholics. For decades, youngsters have saved and slipped coins into a small paper bowl, symbolic of the way many people in the world survive. Moms and dads tend to add bills, perhaps linking the donations to simple meals during Lent.
Funds go to Catholic Relief Services, the overseas aid and development arm of the U.S. Catholic Church.
CRS backs projects promoting health, agriculture and education in the most impoverished places on the planet.
But not all the money goes overseas. A quarter from every dollar stays in western Oregon and funds the CRS Rice Bowl Small Grant Program. Those grants go to projects within the Archdiocese of Portland that address hunger and poverty. Last year, the office gave more than $20,000 in grants to 14 organizations.
The archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace administers the collection and the grant program.
2016 Rice Bowl Small Grant Program local recipients
• Community Sharing Program Latino food box project, Lane County — $1,500
• St. Philip Neri Church Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless, Southeast Portland — $500
• Faith Café Sunday night dinners, Washington County — $1,200
• The FISH of Roseburg emergency food boxes — $2,000
• St. Peter Church immigrant and homeless lunch program, Southeast Portland — $2,000
• Northwest Catholic Counseling Center mental health services for poor older women, Northeast Portland — $2,000
• Sacred Heart Parish mini-shelter project, Medford — $2,000
• St. Cyril Parish gas voucher project, Wilsonville — $2,000
• St. Vincent de Paul Rogue Valley Council food pantry, Medford — $2,000
• St. Henry Parish day shelter, Gresham — $1,000
• St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, Lebanon — $2,000
• St. Frederic Parish food pantry, St. Helens — $500
• St. Alice Parish poor fund, Springfield — $1,500
• Rahab’s Sisters Friday hot meal program for women impacted by the sex industry, Southeast Portland — $1,200