Even when there is nothing to eat at home, Simeon from Malawi can rely on a nutritious meal each day at school.

Many families in Simeon’s community will go hungry this year. The crops that most people in this part of Malawi depend on for their survival have not grown well and the harvest is expected to be poor.  
 
Simeon’s parents are in the process of picking maize and pigeon peas on their small piece of farmland. So far, only two bags of food have been harvested. It will not be enough to keep their four children’s tummies from rumbling over the winter months.  
 
Thankfully, no matter how little there is to eat at home, 10-year-old Simeon is guaranteed a filling and nutritious meal each day at school.  
 
“Porridge takes away my hunger,” he says with a smile. “When I come to school hungry, it gives me strength. I concentrate better in class when I have eaten.” 


 
Early every weekday morning, a group of volunteers arrives at Ng’onga Primary School to prepare huge pots of steaming porridge for more than 850 children. The food is served in colourful plastic mugs, which Simeon and his friends clutch eagerly in their hands.   
 
When times are tough, the promise of Mary’s Meals offers a lifeline for families struggling to make ends meet. This term, Simeon was one of the top students in his class.  
 
“School is important because it helps you make your future,” he says. “My favourite subjects are maths, English and Chichewa. I want to be a doctor when I finish school, so I can help sick people.” 
 
Once he’s done his homework, Simeon likes to play hide-and-seek, or enjoy a game of football with his friends.  
 
“My best friend is Lloyd,” he says. “We look after each other and share food and money when the other doesn’t have anything.” 
 
Daily school meals fill Simeon’s empty stomach, helping him to gain a precious education, enjoy his childhood, and follow his dreams.