Skip to main content

Catholic Relief Services' Rice Bowl

Catholic Relief Services' Rice Bowl

Meet Noor Nobi. Noor lives with his extended family of 11 in Monpura, a beautiful island in Bangladesh surrounded by the Meghna River. To the south, beach views stretch into the Bay of Bengal. To the west are forests and gardens where wild deer roam. To many living in more developed countries like the United States, this sounds like Heaven – a true garden paradise, devoid of all difficulties. However, you couldn’t be more wrong with that assumption.

Unfortunately, cyclones and other natural disasters are increasing in parts of Bangladesh—destroying houses, flooding farmland and damaging roads and dikes. The consequences of a shifting climate there make it difficult for families to have a safe and stable home, earn a living and even access food. Noor’s land flooded often, impacting his ability to grow vegetables year-round. Noor had to work all day catching fish in the river, but the fish and his time were limited. His family often struggled to eat well.

Here's where Catholic Relief Services came in...

They helped farmers learn new techniques to protect their land and keep their families healthy.

CRS Rice Bowl is the Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States.

Seeking a way to help his family, Noor joined Catholic Relief Services’ Mutki project.

Through the project, he learned how to prevent his land from flooding, to farm using chemical-free and organic fertilizers, and to raise chickens and ducks to sell for additional income.

Noor also learned how to grow a variety of vegetables

including tomatoes, chilies, eggplant and lal shak, which is like a red spinach. With the help of his father and nephew Abdul, he increased the amount of land they farmed and their vegetable production.

“Our land was low lying,” Noor told Catholic Relief Services. “They suggest that we increase the height and build a raised garden bed. After building it according to the method, high tide will not be able to take it. It will be safe from disaster....”

"...Our poor family is now becoming successful."

After following the suggestions from Catholic Relief Services, Noor’s family not only had enough to eat, but they also had a surplus to sell at the market.

With the profit, Noor bought a larger house and helped his brothers open a shop.

Together they could pay for Abdul and his sister Nihar to attend private school.

Abdul wants to be an engineer, and Nihar dreams of being a schoolteacher. With just a little help, Noor’s family’s lives have been transformed. 

Other families around the world are experiencing similar challenges that Noor’s family faced.

Yearly flooding, unpredictable storms, long-term droughts and other weather events create dangerous situations that displace entire communities.

In Bangladesh alone, it is estimated that 1 in 7 people will be displaced by 2050 because of issues connected to their ever-changing weather conditions.

Through CRS Rice Bowl, faith communities in every diocese throughout the United States put their faith into action through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Lenten alms donated through CRS Rice Bowl support the work of CRS in more than 100 different countries each year. Twenty-five percent of donations to CRS Rice Bowl stay in the local diocese, supporting hunger and poverty alleviation efforts.

Since its inception in 1975, ...

CRS Rice Bowl has raised more than $320 million.

CRS Rice Bowl is a staple on the table of Catholic families across the country during Lent.

This simple cardboard box is a tool for collecting Lenten alms—and comes with a Lenten calendar that guides families through the 40 days of Lent with activities, reflections and stories.

CRS Rice Bowl shares stories of hope from CRS’ work around the world.

Like Noor, the individuals in these stories are examples of the people and communities where your Lenten alms are changing lives.

If you are interested in doing more to ensure people like Noor have options to create better futures, you can

make a lifesaving donation to Catholic Relief Services.

It’s on an individual level of giving that families are saved and lives are changed. In a world that’s technologically growing, it’s strange that we continually feel more and more disconnected.

It is through giving of our time, talent, and treasure to serve those in need that we reconnect with what we have been designed to do from the beginning – to give of what we have received. 

To see more of Noor and to learn more information, please visit:

... and watch this video:

See Who Else Benefits from Your Purchases

Your Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Click here to continue shopping.