Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Catholic News ServiceOctober 06, 2020
A mother wearing a protective mask looks on while her children share a plate of rice in their shanty home in early May in Manila, Philippines. The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan province, north of Manila, said it is looking to increase the number of people it feeds daily from 750 as part of its Rice Porridge for the Poor program, which was launched in 2017. (CNS photo/Eloisa Lopez, Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- A Philippine archdiocese has expanded a long-running food program for poor people to prevent deeper turmoil from economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan province, north of Manila, said it is looking to increase the number of people it feeds daily from 750 as part of its Rice Porridge for the Poor program, which was launched three years ago.

Rice porridge, or lugaw, is also known as the "poor man's food" for being inexpensive. One cup of rice makes six cups of porridge.

During World War II, it became the staple food for most Filipino families, especially when food was scarce.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas told ucanews.com that the program has gained in popularity and support among many churchgoers over the years.

The program has expanded to 15 parishes, he said.

Originally expected to last only until donated rice ran out, the program has been sustained by churchgoers who continued to donate sacks of rice to parishes, the archbishop said. "We have not run out of rice to cook," he said.


How many more people the archdiocese can feed will depend on how much rice is donated.

The youth ministry of Mary Help of Christians Parish and the archdiocese's minor seminary have been helping distribute rice meals to the needy as part of the project's expansion.

The group said in a social media post that it had been distributing food for more than two weeks and would continue doing so while donations were received from "generous" hearts.

Churchgoers credited Archbishop Villegas and the youth ministry volunteers for their efforts.

"We thank the archbishop for expanding this project. The pandemic may be a difficult time, but it is also an opportunity to be generous to our poor brothers and sisters," parishioner Lourdes San Jose said on social media.

"May God bless you all for the good you are doing for the poor. There is indeed a joy in feeding! May God reward you for your generosity," churchgoer Grace De Guzman said in another post.

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

Monsignor Paolo Braida reading Pope Francis’s message on Dec. 3 (Vatican Media)
Speaking by live television from Santa Marta, the 86-year-old pope, who clearly has not yet fully recovered from a week-long bout of acute bronchitis, issued his heartfelt appeal for “a new ceasefire agreement.”
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 03, 2023
In a speech to the COP28 meeting of world leaders in Dubai read by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis decried the ‘inordinate greed that has made the environment the object of unbridled exploitation.’
Pope FrancisDecember 02, 2023
A Reflection for Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, by Molly Cahill
Molly CahillDecember 01, 2023
As COP28 kicks off, "Jesuitical" welcomes Jose Aguto, the executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant, to discuss Catholic climate advocacy at this pivotal moment.
JesuiticalDecember 01, 2023