Over the weekend of March 9th and 10th, volunteers will get together at four locations across the diocese of Grand Island to package 20,000 meals for use in the most impoverished areas of Africa.
This will be accomplished within a four-hour span at each of the four locations.
The packaging events are a part of Rice Bowl which began in the mid 70's in Pennsylvania and has grown since then. It exists solely to alleviate hunger and poverty efforts around the world as well as in our local areas.
75 percent of what is collected goes toward CRS programs around the world.
These programs include providing immediate food resources, helping with agriculture projects to improve harvests, bringing water and sanitation projects to areas without, micro-financing small businesses, assisting mother and child health projects to offer health and nutrition services, and education.
25 percent of monetary donations go to support local programs.
This year, a new program will be offered in the diocese. It is hoped this will become an annual event.
Four parish communities will be the hosts for the Stop Hunger Now/Helping Hands program offered by CRS; St. Mary's Cathedral, St Patrick's in North Platte, Holy Rosary in Scottsbluff, and Holy Rosary in Alliance.
Within four hours spent at each location on the weekend of March 9th and 10th, 20,000 meal packets will be prepared for distribution in Africa.
CRS will come in with the supplies, provide education, and the packets will be made up and reloaded on the semi.
Each packet costs fifty cents for the ingredients and will feed a family of six in Africa for a day. Fifty volunteers are all that is needed to package 5,000 meal packets at each location. In addition, participants at each event will be asked to provide items to be distributed locally to food pantries to help assist the local/global connection of serving those in need.