CRS Rice Bowl recipes #2 and #3: Laos and Rwanda — with video

Categories: Around the Diocese,lent,Nation/World

Doing more with less at Lent

For each week of Lent, The Visitor is highlighting Catholic Relief Services’ work with a story and simple, meatless recipe from a country the agency serves. Place the money saved into your CRS Rice Bowl to feed our brothers and sisters in need around the world. At the end of Lent, individuals can give their money to their parish or send their donations directly to the St. Cloud Mission Office, 11 8th Ave., St. Cloud, MN, 56301.

Rice Bowl Recipe for Laos

Bishop Donald Kettler and Deacon John Wocken make a rice and lentil mash recipe.



February 20-27


Hongkham lives close to where she grew up in Nongdeune, Laos, with her husband and their five boys. Her husband is a farmer, and her family relied on his crops for food and income. When Hongkham’s husband became sick, the family had to sell a lot of what they owned — including their land — to pay for medicine. Soon, the family faced real hunger.

Then Hongkham found an opportunity to use her love of cooking to help her family and community through CRS’ school literacy and hunger program. She volunteers as a cook at her children’s school, which provides free school lunches for students, literacy training for teachers and principals and nutrition training. Hongkham uses that training in the school kitchen and when she’s cooking for her family at home.

She also receives a monthly ration of food to take home, which helps her family grow and thrive. But the best part about CRS’ program is that students are learning to read and write. Hongkham says that before the program started, students would go home and often wouldn’t return for afternoon classes. But now students return laos-recipeto school after morning classes to receive their free and nutritious lunch. She even sees the change in her own children — in their studies and their health.

Good nutrition has made a real difference in the lives of the people of Laos.

Kao phiak sai tua leuang recipe card (PDF)


February 27 – March 5


Odette’s daughter Olga could have easily become one of the many children in Rwanda who don’t receive the nutrients they need to develop and grow.

But Odette started working with Catholic Relief Services even before she gave birth to ensure her child would get the care she needed during the crucial first 1,000 days of life. The nutrition a child receives from the time he or she is in the womb until his or her second birthday can mean the difference between a promising future and one of poor health and limited opportunities.
Catholic Relief Services is working with communities in Rwanda to end child malnutrition by supporting health and nutrition programs, and teaching families to grow crops that add nutritious variety to their meals.

Because poverty is a major cause of malnutrition, CRS helps families find opportunities to earn an income. With a loan from her microfinance group, Odette started a business selling agricultural fertilizer so she could support her family.
rwanda-recipeOdette attends weekly classes that are helping her grow healthy crops on her farm. She’s also taking courses on how to prepare nutritious meals from those crops. And she takes Olga to regular well-baby visits to measure her weight and growth, and ensure she is healthy.

This year, Olga will reach a milestone: Her second birthday. Because Odette has been feeding her a variety of nutritious foods — many of which were grown in the family garden — Olga is growing up strong and healthy.

Kawunga recipe card (PDF)

Day-by-day reflections and activities for Lent