A little boy holding packages of Vitafood.
Vitafood is an answer to prayer for families living in developing countries!

How to Make Your Own Vitafood

Cross Catholic Outreach is committed to meeting the needs of hungry children and families throughout the world by delivering healthy food to Catholic missions with feeding programs that serve the poor. Good nutrition is the foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, and it is necessary for healthy brain development in young children. Our plan to fight hunger is simple yet effective: We distribute Vitafood. Vitafood is the generic name for all Cross Catholic Outreach’s specially formulated meal packs designed to meet the needs of the malnourished. Vitafood is made with a rice, lentil or potato base; a protein (usually soy or beans); and key vitamins to energize, strengthen and improve the health of malnourished children and families.

Would you like to experience what people taste when they eat Vitafood? Many of our beneficiaries have created their own recipes to prepare Vitafood, and the recipe below is one of them. Try it, and your family can see how the hungry around the world are being nourished by this important outreach. Although the specially formulated meal packs are fortified and include minerals, you can use rice as a substitute in these recipes to better understand the taste and appeal of Vitafood!

Red Beans and Rice

Typically served in South and Central America.


  • 2 cups of your favorite rice
  • 4 cups red or black canned beans
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 whole yellow onion, diced
  • 4 pieces celery, diced
  • 1 green or red pepper, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste, if desired
  • Optional: sour cream, yogurt or grated cheese


  1. Cook rice as instructed on package and set aside.
  2. Cook beans and add onion, celery, pepper, tomatoes, parsley and cumin.
  3. Combine the cooked rice and beans and heat thoroughly.
  4. After serving, add sour cream, yogurt or grated cheese for further flavoring.
  5. Pray for our brothers and sisters around the world waiting for their next meal.

How does it taste?

If you made this recipe, we would love to see your pictures! Tag us @crosscatholic on Instagram or Facebook.

Make Cross Catholic Outreach Your Christmas Charity

The United Nations reports that there are roughly 828 million hungry people in the world. That’s heartbreaking to hear because hunger and malnutrition can cause long-lasting damage, especially to children who need proper nourishment to grow and develop.

If you enjoyed the activity of making your own Vitafood, please consider sending nutritious Vitafood meals to feed hungry children and families all over the world. Your compassionate action will perform a Corporal Work of Mercy to feed the hungry, honoring the words of our Lord:

“For I was hungry and you gave me food … Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” — Matthew 25:35, 40

Please give the gift of a full meal through our Christmas Catalog today.

Donate to Make a Difference


Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2024, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.