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Operation Rice Bowl returns for Lent

Tricia de Groot | Wednesday, February 9, 2005

For some Notre Dame students, the beginning of Lent means giving up sweets or finding no meat in the dining halls on Fridays. But for the second time in several years, many will participate in Operation Rice Bowl – an opportunity for generosity – starting today.

This collection, which raises money for Catholic Charities around the world, elicited slightly over $4,000 last year and hopes to raise $10,000 from the 5,000 bowls distributed this Lenten season.

The Class of 2005 will be handing out the bowls today to undergraduates at the residence halls, and students and faculty alike are encouraged to donate their change throughout the season.

Seventy-five percent of the donations will be given to Catholic Relief Services around the world while the remaining 25 percent will be used in the local dioceses.

“Catholic Relief Services is in dire need of contributions at this time because they have used and continue to use many of their funds to aid all those affected by the Tsunami disaster,” said Brin Anderson, who started the campaign with Julia Miller-Lemon last year.

Notre Dame is one of over 14,000 schools, parishes and community faith groups across the nation to participate in this project, which became the official program of the Catholic Relief Services during the Lenten season in 1977.

Initiated by a Catholic priest, Jewish rabbi and Protestant minister in an attempt to bring their Pennsylvania communities together in the fight against hunger, Operation Rice Bowl celebrates its 30th year of service this year.

“Our hope would be that Operation Rice Bowl will become an annual campaign at Notre Dame, and in turn, with each year, we feel that its popularity will grow,” Anderson said.