Mary’s Meals is now feeding 1,187,104 hungry children every school day

We’re delighted to announce that Mary’s Meals is now reaching 1,187,104 of the world’s poorest children with a nutritious daily meal in school.

Back to all stories | Posted on 8 September 16 in NewsAnnouncement

Owing to the continued generosity of our supporters around the world, we have been able to add more than 85,000 new children to our global school feeding programme since the beginning of 2016.

Mary’s Meals provides vital support to impoverished communities across four continents, setting up community-run school feeding programmes, which encourage children – who may otherwise be forced to work, beg or forage for food – to come to school and receive a nutritious meal that helps them to concentrate on their studies.

Mary’s Meals began by feeding just 200 children in Malawi in 2002, amidst a devastating famine. Today, Malawi is in the grip of another food crisis, following severe floods and drought which destroyed this year’s harvest. With 6.5 million people in Malawi facing chronic hunger, we have launched an urgent campaign, Crisis in Malawi, in an effort to help lessen the devastating impact.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Mary’s Meals’ founder and chief executive – who recently returned from Malawi – said: “The joyful news that 1,187,104 children are now receiving Mary’s Meals is all thanks to the incredible efforts of our supporters and volunteers around the world, who give whatever they can – time, money, skills and prayer – to help the communities in which Mary’s Meals is working.

“Whether it’s the terrible ongoing conflict in South Sudan or the worsening food crisis in Malawi, we are constantly reminded that the promise of a daily meal in school for hungry and vulnerable children has never been more important.

“We are determined to maintain that promise to the 1,187,104 children already benefitting and to find ways of reaching even more of the schools waiting in line for Mary’s Meals in the months and years ahead.”

Our work is only possible thanks to an army of volunteers – often mothers, grandmothers and other relatives – who get up early to prepare, cook and serve the food for their children. 

And Mary’s Meals has today announced that – in Malawi alone – our network of community volunteers has risen in number from 65,000 to a record 80,000, all giving freely of their time and labour to ensure their children are nourished and educated.

Magnus says: “We continue to see first-hand the incredible transformation that can take place when a child is given the opportunity to learn with a full stomach.

“Community engagement, empowerment and ownership is key to the success of Mary’s Meals – and we are so heartened to be working hand-in-hand with more and more community volunteers across 12 countries. We give wholehearted thanks to all those who share our vision that every child in the world should be able to receive one good meal every day in their place of education.”