Auxiliary Bishop John McIntyre blesses “rice bowls” before they are distributed to parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This is the 34th year the Archdiocese has participated in Operation Rice Bowl which helps those who are poor and hungry.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia kicked off its participation in Operation Rice Bowl today at the Visitation Food Cupboard in the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center in Philadelphia. Bishop John J. McIntyre blessed the “rice bowls” before they were distributed to parishes and schools of the Archdiocese. During Lent families in the Archdiocese are encouraged to place money they would have spent on meals in the “rice bowls” to remember those who are poor and hungry.

This is the 37th year the Archdiocese has been involved with Operation Rice Bowl, a nationwide effort administered by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to alleviate hunger both locally and abroad through four components: prayer, fasting, learning, and giving.

Parishioners in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia donated almost $337,000 to Operation Rice Bowl during Lent 2011. Of that amount, about $85,000 stayed in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and helped the Office for Nutritional Development Services fight hunger in the region. The remainder was distributed to CRS to combat hunger and other basic human needs overseas.