Gannon University Students Support Operation Rice Bowl

Operation_Rice_Bowl_logoPosted: April 10, 2014

Every year, Gannon University's Catholic Relief Services (CRS) sponsors Operation Rice Bowl and as part of that initiative, CRS is hosting the Breaking-the-Fast Solidarity Panel on Wednesday April 9th, at 5 p.m. in the Yehl Ballroom, located in the Waldron Campus Center, 124 W. Seventh St..

The panel will comprise three speakers: Dom Acharya, a community leader, activist and new American from Bhutan, who will share his insights about food security from the refugee camp in Nepal to U.S. grocery stores; Sr. Phyllis Hilbert, SSJ, a neighborhood advocate, and Wally Brown, SSJA, the housing coordinator at Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network, who will jointly share information about their efforts to combat poverty and hunger in Erie. They will also discuss newer efforts like the SSJ community garden and long-standing initiatives like the CROP Hunger Week.

Operation Rice Bowl is an international operation that helps Catholics strengthen their Lenten practice through reflection, fasting and giving. CRS Ambassadors organized several initiatives that align with Operation Rice Bowl. Gannon Ambassadors promoted an Operation Rice Bowl app and collected donations for CRS; 75 percent of donations will go to support the global effort and 25 percent goes to local initiatives.

In addition, CRS sponsored a food fast where students donated meals and committed to fast for breakfast and lunch. Alexandra Mastro, one of the CRS Ambassadors at Gannon and a senior physician assistant major, said the numbers for the food fast were excellent this year. In turn, Metz Culinary Management, Gannon University's foodservice provider, made donations to Operation Rice Bowl.

Mastro said she hopes that students will gain a better global understanding about food security and what happens in their local area. "I am hopeful that they will be more in tune with CRS and some of the social changes we are advocating for," Mastro said. "And want to participate in more of our programs next year and in the future."