Cross Catholic Outreach Marks Success of World Food Day

With Celebrations of Faith and Compassion

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
This year’s October 16th observance of World Food Day included a precious moment when children from a small parish school with fewer than 200 students made a big statement about the power of putting faith into action.  

The students of Hope Rural School in Indiantown, Florida – mostly children of immigrant workers who have come to the area from places such as Guatemala – raised $1,461 to provide 5,844 meals for the poor, giving not out of their abundance, but sacrificially and in a spirit of joy.  

No contribution ever displayed has more profoundly demonstrated how Catholic compassion can “change the world, one meal at a time.”

“The children victoriously used that phrase to praise God.  When the school announced the tally of gifts they had collected, they all said, we are changing the world, one meal at a time,” Gigi Krauser explained.  “It brought us to tears.”

Sister Mary Dooley, Hope Rural School Hope Rural School
Sister Mary Dooley – Director, Hope Rural School Shelly Lantz from CSCD department with Sister Kate, the principal (also a School Sister of Notre Dame) and the kids!
Gigi Krauser, the director of Cross Catholic Outreach’s Church, School and Community Development Department, was present with staff members Sandi Pino and Shelly Lantz to accept the gift on behalf of international feeding programs being supported through Cross.  They had come to thank Sister Mary Dooley from the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Director and “super-leader” of the tiny Catholic school. 

During their assembly for World Food Day, the students started with 10 lit candles and after representatives from each grade level recited world hunger statistics, one candle was extinguished.  Once the light went out, the children responded with the phrase “This makes the world a darker place.”  Then as students read aloud solutions to world hunger, candles were turned on again.  “The effect of this exercise was incredible to witness!”  Sandi Pino said.

Some children also shared that they could relate to the plight of going to bed hungry and so were highly motivated to make a difference.  As the children turned in their donations, Sister Mary, Sister Kate, and the teachers did a wonderful job relating to each child exactly how many meals their donation would provide.

This greater awareness of global hunger is exactly what Cross Catholic Outreach strives to achieve through its unique World Food Day observances, and because the program also includes opportunities for Catholic children to create positive change, it has become a popular new option for Catholic schools looking for ways to mark the day.

According to Cross Catholic Outreach’s staff World Food Day 2013 involved the support of more than 155 schools and 50,000 students – an incredible increase from last year when 102 schools and 28,000 students participated.  

“We celebrate this success because we know it will have a huge impact on the lives of the poor,” Gigi Krauser said, “and it was all made possible by children like those at Hope Rural School – kids who looked beyond their own needs to consider the suffering of others.  God bless them!”