Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Operation Rice Bowl grants combat hunger in Eastern Washington

the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 2, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

Every Lenten season, parishioners around Eastern Washington take part in Operation Rice Bowl (ORB), learning about life in distant parts of the world, eating smaller and simpler meals, and contributing money to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the U.S. Bishops’ overseas development and emergency relief agency. This year, over $33,000 was collected by parishes of the Spokane Diocese, the highest response in the history of ORB.

CRS recommends that 25 percent of ORB funds remain in the diocese to support local hunger and nutrition programs, reinforcing the idea that people are hungry in Eastern Washington, just as they are hungry on other continents.

The CRS Diocesan Advisory Committee recently recommended 11 grants to local hunger relief programs for Bishop Skylstad’s approval:

• Asotin County Food Bank, Clarkston.
• Blue Mountain Action Council, Walla Walla.
• Care and Share, Davenport.
• Community Action Center, Pullman.
• Community Food Bank, Dayton.
• Hunters Food Bank, Hunters.
• Meals on Wheels, Spokane.
• Othello Food Bank, Othello.
• Ritzville Food Bank, Ritzville.
• St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank, Pasco.
• Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels, Spokane Valley.
• Tonasket Food Bank, Tonasket.
• Vineyard Christian Fellowship Food Bank, Colville.
• Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant, Spokane.

The local funds will also be used to purchase fair-trade olivewood rosaries from the Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative in Bethlehem. Bishop Skylstad gives one of these handmade rosaries to each person he confirms. The rosaries are a tangible link to struggling Christian communities in the Holy Land and a desperately needed source of income in a region where unemployment can be as high as 80 percent.

The 75 percent of ORB funds sent to CRS will support the organization’s work in disaster relief, nutrition, agriculture, and well-baby projects in 99 countries around the world.

For more information about Operation Rice Bowl and Catholic Relief Services, visit their website at, or call the Parish Social Ministry Office at 509-358-4273 or 1-800-831-1209.

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