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placeholder January 4, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA

Berkeley Night on the Streets Catholic Worker is a first-time recipient of a CRS Rice Bowl grant. Representatives receive their check from Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, and Marc McKimmey, right, Catholic Relief Services diocesan coordinator.
MICHELE JURICH/THE CATHOLIC VOICE

CRS Rice Bowl grants help feed
the hungry close to home

Forty-one organizations, staffed in most part by volunteers, were honored for their work in feeding the hungry in Alameda and Contra Costa counties at the eighth annual CRS Rice Bowl grant awards breakfast Dec. 11.

The grants were the largest in dollar amount ($34,100) as well as numbers of agencies (41), and reflected the largest contribution made to CRS Rice Bowl in the diocese, $217,000, said Marc McKimmey, the diocesan coordinator for Catholic Relief Services.

The grants are funded from the annual Rice Bowl collection. Participants are encouraged to set aside money during Lent in familiar paper collection boxes and make a contribution, which is usually brought to church on Holy Thursday.

While 75 percent of funds go to projects worldwide to alleviate hunger and help people become more self-sufficient, 25 percent of the funds remain in the diocese.

More than half of the grants went to parish-based St. Vincent de Paul conferences in both counties.

Through an application process, nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry apply for a portion of those funds.

Berkeley Night on the Streets, a Catholic Worker project, was a first-time recipient. J.C. Orton said the $1,200 grant will help provide Sunday morning breakfasts at People's Park — about 120 guests — and at the Men's Shelter in downtown Berkeley.

Grant recipients gathered for a breakfast at the Cathedral Parish Hall. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, read part of the prayer for the Jubilee of Mercy, and thanked the gathering "for your works of mercy and ministry to those in need."

He noted that 2015 had been a good year for the Rice Bowl collection, which received $39,000 more than it did in 2014.

"We've seen this throughout our diocese," he said, "the growing generosity and involvement of our people."

That generosity enabled nine additional grants, he said.

"Again this year, I'm happy to see we're providing funds to the third-grade class at All Saints Catholic School in Hayward," he said. "so they can purchase food, sandwich makings, fruit, chips carrots, cookie dough and water — I like their choice — for the students to make lunches for those in need who come to their parish for a weekly meal."

Last year's grant, he said, was put to good use.

"Their teacher reported to us once students, parents and parish community learned that the class had received a grant, a number of adults got more involved in the ministry, primarily through donations of food."

St. Joan of Arc Parish in San Ramon was honored for having not only the largest collection in the diocese, but the largest percentage increase from the previous year of any parish in the diocese.

The increase, from $665 in 2014 to $14,912, that "doesn't come without promotion and encouragement from the priest and the lay people," Bishop Barber said.

Additional parishes that increased their contributions to CRS Rice Bowl significantly included All Saints in Hayward; St. Mary in Walnut Creek; Holy Spirit in Fremont; St. Columba in Oakland; St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda; St. John Vianney in Walnut Creek; St. Clement in Hayward; Our Lady of Guadalupe in Fremont; Our Lady of the Rosary in Union City; St. Michael in Livermore; and St. Patrick in Rodeo.

Representatives of the agencies received their checks from Bishop Barber and McKimmey. The event closed with a song written and performed by Karla Jackson of the Ariel Outreach Mission, an Oakland organization that received a grant.

By the end of the song, everyone in the room rose, joined hands and joined the singer on the refrain, "We care."

2015 CRS Rice Bowl grantees

• All Saints Church, Hayward, $550
• All Saints School, Hayward, $550
• Ariel Outreach Mission, Oakland, $1,200
• Christ Community Church of the Narazene, Concord, $750
• Delta Christian Community Food Pantry, Byron, $750
• Ephesian Church, Oakland, $1,000
• Interfaith Sharing Inc., Livermore, $1,000.
• Kmhmú-Laotian Pastoral Center, Richmond, $1,000
• New Hope Baptist Church, Oakland, $1,000
• Night on the Streets Catholic Worker, Berkeley, $1,200
• Oakland Catholic Worker, $1,200
• Project Outreach, Inc., Oakland, $1,200
• St. David's Pantry, Richmond, $1,000
• Sister John Marie's Food Pantry, St. Joseph Church, Fremont, $750
• St. Mary's Center, Oakland, $1,000
• Sister Rose Carroll's Ministry, Concord, $1,000
• Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church, Richmond, $1,000
• The Light Ministries, Antioch, $1,000
• St. Vincent de Paul Conferences at Church of the Assumption, San Leandro, $500
• Holy Rosary Church, Antioch, $500
• Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Brentwood, $750
• Our Lady Queen of the World Church, Bay Point, $1,000
• Queen of All Saints Church, Concord, $1,000
• St. Anne Church, Byron $500
• St. Augustine Church, Oakland, $750
• St. Bede Church, Hayward, $1,000
• St. Benedict Church, Oakland, $1,000
• St. Bonaventure Church, Concord, $500
• St. Callistus Church, El Sobrante, $1,000
• St. Catherine of Siena Church, Martinez, $1,000
• St. Columba Church, Oakland, $750
• St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County, $1,000
• St. Edward Church, Newark, $750
• St. Francis of Assisi Church, Concord, $750
• St. Vincent de Paul Hope Conference, San Ramon, $500
• St. Jerome Church, El Cerrito, $1,000
• St. Joachim Church, Hayward, $1,000
• St. John the Baptist Church, El Cerrito, $1,000
• St. John the Baptist Church, San Lorenzo, $1,000
• St. Joseph Church, Fremont, $750
• St. Patrick Church, Rodeo, $1,000

 
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