For information on our events, refer to our toolkit.

Who is Catholic Relief Services?

Catholic Relief Services is the official international Catholic relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and a member of Caritas Internationalis and the National Catholic Development Conference. CRS assists the poor and vulnerable overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sanctity of human life and the dignity of all people.

Who is Rise Against Hunger?

Rise Against Hunger (RAH) is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 15 years by bringing meal-packaging events to communities. RAH provides all necessary supplies and staff to host CRS Helping Hands events.

Who can participate in CRS Helping Hands?

Volunteers of all ages are welcome. We invite individual parishes, groups of parishes, parish schools, religious education programs, confirmation classes, diocesan conventions, Catholic conferences and universities to host an event.

How many communities participate in CRS Helping Hands?

We coordinate 80 events a year with Catholic parishes, schools, universities and conferences across the United States, packaging millions of meals annually.

What happens at a CRS Helping Hands event?

Volunteers come together to learn about the people of Burkina Faso and the hunger they face, to reflect on our Catholic call to address hunger and to have fun packaging thousands of meals that will help save lives.

Why host an event?

  • Volunteers live out our Eucharistic call to help our brothers and sisters secure the sustenance they need to build healthy futures.
  • People of all ages gather, allowing families to participate in a service project together.
  • Volunteers fight hunger in the short-term by providing food, while also supporting sustainable development projects that help our brothers and sisters build futures free from hunger.
  • Events build awareness of global hunger. Children and adults alike engage in a social justice activity and leave with a deeper understanding of their role as global citizens.
  • Volunteers work to ease the suffering of their brothers and sisters overseas, and reinforce the dignity of human life.
  • Events allows volunteers to contribute to the cause directly, doing more than donating resources.

When should I book my event?

We recommend booking 1-3 months before you plan to host an event. However, we can often accommodate events within several weeks.

Where can I host an event?

We are happy to accommodate your event request and can arrange for most events at no additional travel expense. However, for events held more than 100 miles from one of our partner’s warehouses, additional travel fees will be applied, ranging from $100-$1,500. Click here to view our map of warehouses.

How much does it cost?

Meals cost 50 cents each. The minimum event cost is $5,076, which secures 10,152 meals. Check out our toolkit for more information.

Why does CRS Helping Hands charge 50 cents per meal?

Unlike many food-packaging programs, CRS Helping Hands event fees pay to ship and distribute meals as well as fund development projects that help solve long-term hunger. More than a typical aid program, we work to strengthen the communities where we send our food, helping people to experience the basic right of being self-sufficient.

What is in a meal?

Meals are composed of rice, dehydrated soy, dehydrated vegetables and a vitamin and mineral packet. They are designed to offer the most nutritious, easiest-to-prepare meals possible.

Where are meals sent?

Meals are delivered to 27 church-run centers serving vulnerable people across Burkina Faso. The centers serve the elderly, the sick and girls fleeing forced marriage.

Why are the meals sent to Burkina Faso?

Burkina Faso suffers from cyclical droughts and flooding. Most people in Burkina Faso depend on subsistence farming, making it difficult to grow food or earn a living during times of natural disaster. Currently, there is not enough food in the country to feed all who are hungry.

Does CRS Helping Hands fund other projects too?

Yes! We strongly believe that long-term development projects should go hand-in-hand with food shipments. Therefore, we fund income-generating projects at the centers where our meals are distributed.

How can I bring a CRS Helping Hands event to my community?

To learn more, read how you can get involved, email us at HelpingHands@crs.org.

What are the ways I can help?

Volunteers can participate in a meal-packaging event or donate to CRS Helping Hands here. Visit our Get Involved page to consider other ways to engage with CRS.

How much food has CRS Helping Hands contributed?

We have packaged more than 4 million meals for Burkina Faso since the beginning of the program in 2012.

How can I find out more about the impact of my service and/or donation?

We invited you to learn more about everything we do at http://crs.org.

When is payment due?

Full payment is due approximately 1 to 2 weeks after an event. We send a final bill for the amount due, which reflects the cost of the event. Donations and grants received on your behalf will be subtracted from the final event cost. No deposit is required.

Where do I send a check?

Event host will receive an invoice with instructions. Checks may be sent to:

Catholic Relief Services CRS Donor Services P.O. Box 17090 Baltimore, MD 21297-0303

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