Share Blessings With the World’s Most Vulnerable People

The Catholic priests, sisters and lay missionaries serving in the developing world are eager to help the poor, and that assistance is essential because the needs of many families in those countries are extreme. In Malawi, for example, nearly one in four people suffer from food insecurity, and children are so undernourished that one in three has stunted growth (World Food Programme).

Your gift to Cross Catholic Outreach will enable Church leaders serving the poor in developing countries to provide relief and spiritual blessings to these struggling families with programs that uphold their dignity and protect lives. Help them rescue malnourished children from hunger and equip families to build a brighter future. In our last program year, support of this kind from our friends provided more than 37 million nourishing Vitafood meals to hungry families — answering their prayers in a way that glorified God!

Give now and boldly open your heart to the most urgent needs of the poor.

Answer the Cries of the Poor Around the World

In 2001, Cross Catholic Outreach launched its global ministry to link U.S. Catholics with children and families living in extreme poverty. Since then, millions of people have been transformed both materially and spiritually.

- 2023 -

23

Years
of Service

90+

COUNTRIES
ASSISTED

$4.4

BILLION IN
TOTAL AID

1

PATHWAY
TO CHRIST

A smiling woman holds a bowl containing a meal prepared with our Vitafood.
Fanta is ready to serve her family the Vitafood she serves with her own special flavorings.

A Family Treat

Vitafood Is Served With a Local Flair

Fanta Kalua considers Vitafood an answer to prayer because it has enabled her to feed her seven children and five grandchildren. The regular Vitafood deliveries she has received from the Diocese of Karonga are important because they are keeping her youngest ones from falling into malnutrition and suffering the physical and mental disabilities that lack of nutrition can produce. Fanta loves to see her children happy, so she brings her own local flair to her Vitafood recipes. For example, the doting grandmother adds a banana flower relish to the Vitafood to create a special taste the children love. Fanta also pairs the Vitafood meals with homemade juice, and she’s happy to pass along the recipe to you!

Ingredients:

  • Two cups water
  • Two cups sweet potato leaves
  • Three limes, halved
  • Four tbsp. sugar.

Directions:

Add two cups of water into a pot and boil. Add two cups of sweet potato leaves (often found in Asian and African markets). Cover and stir occasionally for three to five minutes. Meanwhile, juice three limes into a container and strain. Remove the pot from the heat and strain the liquid. Combine the strained liquid with the lime juice and stir in sugar until dissolved.

Our President’s Strategy

Michele’s heart for service and deep Catholic faith inspires her to connect U.S. Catholics with ministries serving the world’s most marginalized people. She’s served in executive leadership at Cross Catholic Outreach for 20 years, beginning as vice president of development and transitioning to president in 2022, with the full support of every U.S. Catholic bishop on our esteemed board of directors.

Through Cross Catholic Outreach, Michele invites all Catholics around the world to unite in overcoming material and spiritual poverty — and you are an important part of this mission! Together, we can meet the most urgent needs of the poor through eight life-changing programs:

Food

Ship prepackaged meals around the world and help Catholic ministries buy food locally.

Water & Health

Drill wells and protect families from dangerous illnesses that trap them in desperation.

Housing

Build safe, sturdy homes for families living in unsafe and unsanitary dwellings.

Education

Children in classroom holding their hands up

Empower young minds with the educational and spiritual foundation to achieve goals.

Vulnerable Children

A young girl praying.

Give girls and boys a safe, healthy start and protect them from human trafficking.

Disaster Relief

Rush critical supplies, such as food, water and blankets after natural and man-made disasters.

Microenterprise

A woman seated near baskets.

Help families launch small businesses so they can break the cycle of poverty.

Agriculture

A girl holding a chicken.

Improve nutrition and increase families’ income with programs to grow crops and raise animals.

A young girl places a spoonful of Vitafood in her mouth while sitting on the ground with two other children.
Children in Malawi are grateful to have daily meals, thanks to Vitafood shipments.

Vitafood’s Impact

Vitafood is strengthening families and uplifting everyone’s spirits in rural Malawi, according to leaders in the Diocese of Karonga.  “The children are gaining weight, they have more energy, and they are performing better in school,” said Vehya Benjamin Monthali, health service assistant for the diocese. 

He said about one in four children in rural areas is malnourished, but that the rate is much lower among families now being nourished with Vitafood.

Vitafood is an extremely cost-effective way to feed the hungry and restore those at risk from malnutrition’s crippling physical and developmental damage. Vitafood is the generic name for our specially formulated meal packs designed to meet the needs of the malnourished. Each package is created with a rice, potato or lentil base, a protein (usually soy or beans) and key vitamins to energize, strengthen and improve the health of malnourished children and families. Once packed in the U.S., meals are placed into 40-foot shipping containers and delivered on cargo ships. Ministry teams then distribute the packaged meals to hungry children and families.

Catholic Ministry Partners Your Gift Can Support

Joaquin Muno family.

A blessing created by U.S. parishioners. 

The Muno family in the Dominican Republic is among the thousands of people worldwide who are nourished by Vitafood packed by U.S. parishes.

A boy has his height measured.

Follow-up ensures children are growing strong. 

Children are regularly weighed and measured as part of the Vitafood outreach by the Diocese of Suchitepéquez-Retalhuleu in Guatemala.

Families learn about proper nutrition. 

Ministry teams from the Daughters of the Redeemer ensure that families in rural Zambia are trained to prepare Vitafood and add locally sourced ingredients.

Vitafood brightens the spirits of children worldwide.

Be an Instrument of Christ’s Peace

Across continents, we are united through Christ. But as united as we may be in spirit, parts of our universal body are hurting. Cross Catholic Outreach has been called to address those needs.

We believe that if we reach out to others with a heart of service, then we can change the world, one life at a time. As we stand together to be this force for positive change, clean water will flow, food will fill hungry stomachs, safe homes will be built, and Catholic schools will be able to welcome children eager to build bright futures.

We are asking you to join us because there is so much work to do. Through our shared commitment to this holy calling, souls will proclaim the greatness of the Lord, and spirits will rejoice.

We can hardly wait to see what God will accomplish through your generosity!

Donations from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures for this project incurred through June 30, 2025, 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.