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CCST Rice Bowl Grants

  • 75% of CRS Rice Bowl funds go overseas, to programs that benefit families of small coffee farmers, for example.

LATEST, FALL 2016: $57,500 in grants were awarded to 18 organizations committed to food security in the 2016 round of CRS Rice Bowl Grants administered in the Diocese of Metuchen by the Catholic Charities Solidarity Team.  For the list of these latest recipients, please check and open the 2016 CRS Rice Bowl Grant recipient attachment below.

Catholic Relief Services allows (arch)dioceses in the United States that participate in CRS Rice Bowl to keep 25% of the collection in the local community to be used for local hunger and poverty alleviation projects.

Catholic Relief Services believes the 25% of CRS Rice Bowl contributions that remain  in the diocese illustrates the importance of our global responsibility as Christians to assist those in need both around the corner and around the world. The 25% enables local participants to understand the plight of the poor overseas through the experience of the poor in their own communities.

For more than a decade, the Catholic Charities Solidarity Team has honored CRS’ understanding of the local 25% by running a Rice Bowl Grants program for food security needs in the Metuchen Diocese.  This program allows a variety of organizations to receive help in their food security mission.  Food pantries and soup kitchens are among the more frequent recipients.

In 2014, we awarded 15 grants, totaling $52,500, and in January 2015, we awarded three more, for $9,500.  That's $62,000 within a 12-month period!  At our Oct. 29, 2015 Harvest of Hope Dinner, we awarded $49,500 to 17 groups.

Deacon Mike Martini from Immaculate Conception Parish in Annandale (mmartini@ccsolidarity.org) administers the CCST Rice Bowl Grants program, with the help of CCST colleagues.  Our deadline to apply for funds each year is September 15, and grants will be awarded later in the fall at the Harvest of Hope Dinner.

We hold to these basic guidelines and criteria:

a. We will first exhaust requests for funds for groups that are addressing hunger and food insecurity in the Metuchen Diocese.  Committed to using all of our funds each year, we would turn next to global food security projects.

b. There is no lower limit to request, but due to the limit of our funds we would like most of our grants to be in the  $2,000-$5,000 range.  On rare occasion we will extend a grant as high as $7,500. Funding each year does not guarantee future funding.

c. If the recipient group is Catholic and would like to receive future grants, we strongly encourage the organization to promote and participate in CRS Rice Bowl program. If it is possible for a non-Catholic group to do fund-raising, that is likewise encouraged.

d. Recipient groups must submit a follow-up evaluation of their use of funds, available on the website.

e. No organization will receive funds whose activities are not consistent with Catholic moral and social teaching and with 501(c) 3 rules regarding partisan political activity.

f. Rice Bowl Grant funds cannot be used for salary, administration. Only in rare circumstances may they be used for equipment (as in expanding a pantry’s capacity).

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