Catholic Relief Service: Staying in the Community

Catholic Relief Service: Staying in the Community

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CRS-RiceBowl2By Crystal Catalan

Did you know that 25% of the money collected locally through the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) Rice Bowl program remains here in the Diocese of San Jose?

In September 2015, over 20 parishes and schools received funding for programs which addressed hunger and food insecurity in the County of Santa Clara. Among those recipients is Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Morgan Hill, who applied for and received four grants for parish-led programs in their local community. One specific grant received was for Thanksgiving Baskets coordinated by the Youth Ministry at the parish.

On November 22, 2015, the Youth Ministry at Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish held a Thanksgiving Food Drive which included delivering full baskets of traditional Thanksgiving meals to 48 families in their surrounding area. According to Youth-Young Adult Ministry Director, Deepu Kochuparambil, “This is the largest number of families we have served in this event, and it is thanks to the Grant we received that we felt bold enough to take that many families on.” Kochuparambil also shared that they were able to include a $25 gift card to Safeway to the families. Additionally, Saint Catherine Parish purchased reusable bags and baskets to put the food in, so that families may use these items in the future, as opposed to using paper shopping bags, which had been previously used in the past. In addition to the Grant, parishioners provided much support for this program through donations and providing transportation to deliver the items.

Is your parish or school interested in applying for a CRS Rice Bowl grant for the 2016-2017 year? Grant criteria and applications will be available in May 2016. For any questions regarding Catholic Relief Services programs in the Diocese of San Jose, please contact Crystal Catalan at crs-dsj@dsj.org.