St. Simon students support Operation Rice Bowl during Lent

As part of Lent, Saint Simon Parish School students participated in Catholic Relief Services' faith-in-action program Operation Rice Bowl.  Forty years ago Catholics in the United States wanted to respond to famine in African. Could they feed the hungry through Lenten prayers, fasting and almsgiving?  The answer was a resounding yes! 

During mass students heard stories about poverty in Tanzania, Nicaragua, Niger, Lebanon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Diocese of Albany. Classroom readings and reflections touched on messages about our one human family, and asked students to remember those who were the poorest and most in need.

At home families were asked to share simple meals using Catholic Relief Services' Rice Bowl recipes, to start or end each day with a brief reflection from the Lenten calendar, and to fill their family's Rice Bowl with their Lenten sacrifices.  Saint Simon students hosted bake sales, participated in recycling projects, and performed a number of small daily sacrifices, resulting in a school contribution of $7,000 to help our Parish reach a total donation of $10,400. Pictured above are Finley and Jordan Valentino who spearheaded a neighborhood recycling project, and below are fourth grade students Mia Makris and Alison Giusti who hosted a neighborhood bake sale.  

Donations for Operation Rice Bowl are used in a number of ways. Seventy-five percent of gifts support CRS' programs around the world, including agriculture projects to help farmers improve harvests; water and sanitation projects; efforts to bring clean water to communities; microfinance projects to support small business, and education projects to provide resources and training.  Twenty-five percent of donations go to hunger and poverty efforts in our own community.  To learn more about Catholic Relief Services' Operation Rice Bowl go to