Media CenterFeel Connected to the World This Easter Even While Staying Home

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Brittany Wichtendahl
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(757) 748-5003


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, April 9, 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic forces Catholics across the United States to prepare for an unprecedented Easter largely removed from their friends, families and parishes, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) offers them a source of connection through CRS Rice Bowls.

While 75% of the donations collected from CRS Rice Bowl go to fighting hunger overseas, 25% stays in the diocese where they are collected. At a time when the entire world is coming together to fight COVID-19, CRS Rice Bowl continues to keep us connected in the fight against hunger and reminds us that we are all God’s children.

“Despite being unable to attend Mass or celebrate Holy Week face-to-face with our communities, we know Catholics across the country are still observing Lent,” said Beth Martin, CRS’ director of campaign action and content. “More families tuned in and watched our CRS Rice Bowl Stations of the Cross and other videos than ever before. So, we know there is a strong desire to continue our traditions and feel connected to our brothers and sisters during this Lenten Season. CRS Rice Bowl provides the perfect opportunity to remember that we remain together as Church and as a human family, even when we can't gather physically."

Traditionally, schools and parishes that participate in CRS Rice Bowl have held an event to collect what individuals and families saved during the Lenten season. Fortunately, even with social distancing rules put in place, families are still able to turn in their Rice Bowls. Individuals and families are encouraged to turn in their Lenten gifts in the following ways:


By Phone:

  • Call 877-435-7277 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and tell the operator that the gift is for CRS Rice Bowl.

By Mail:

  • Please write “CRS Rice Bowl” on the memo line of your check and mail it to:

Catholic Relief Services
Attn: CRS Rice Bowl
P.O. Box 5200
Harlan,IA 51593-0700

If individuals or families received a postage paid Rice Bowl envelope from their local diocese, they are encouraged to send their gifts using that envelope.

No matter how gifts are submitted, 25% of all donations go back to the donors' diocese to support local hunger and poverty alleviation efforts.

“The fight against COVID-19 reminds us that we have to look out for one another,” Martin said. “People are staying at home in order to protect the most vulnerable people in their communities from contracting the virus. CRS Rice Bowl is a variation of that, caring and looking out for the most vulnerable people at home and around the world. Together we can save lives from COVID-19 and from hunger.”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Public Relations Strategist

Brittany Wichtendahl
April 9, 2020

Brittany Wichtendahl is a public relations strategist for Catholic Relief Services, out of Baltimore. Drafting press releases for secular and Catholic news media, Brittany also crafts pitches to help publicize CRS's work. She writes op-eds for placement in national print publications, and monitors news outlets for stories related to CRS and CRS programming.

Brittany is a graduate...More