Mary’s Meals is now feeding 1,230,171 hungry children every school day

We have some wonderful news. We are now reaching 1,230,171 of the world’s poorest children with a nutritious daily meal in school.

Back to all stories | Posted on 19 Apr 2017 in News

Thanks to the continued generosity of our supporters around the world, we have been able to add more than 43,000 new children to our global school feeding programme since September 2016.

Mary’s Meals provides 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 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. And today, we are providing much-needed support in the face of another crisis in East Africa, where drought and conflict have created a humanitarian emergency spanning several countries, including two where Mary’s Meals are served – South Sudan and Kenya.

Across famine-hit South Sudan, where a brutal civil war continues to rage, and drought-stricken Kenya, more than 46,000 children have the certainty – at this desperate time – of receiving one good meal every school day. More than ever, Mary’s Meals is not just a powerful incentive to come to the classroom, but a vital lifeline for these vulnerable children in desperate need of nourishment.

With millions across East Africa on the brink of starvation, Mary’s Meals recently launched an East Africa Emergency Appeal to help lessen the devastating impact of the crisis.

Moses Kopurot Kenyi, who works for our partner organisation in South Sudan, said: “Most of the children here are so malnourished and they have a lot of challenges. To keep them in school, we need to provide the Mary’s Meals feeding programme. Without any meals, there will definitely be a very poor future for South Sudan. We thank Mary’s Meals and we thank those who are helping Mary’s Meals.”

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Mary’s Meals’ founder and chief executive, said: “The wonderful news that we are now reaching 1,230,171 children with Mary’s Meals is thanks to the amazing efforts of our supporters and volunteers around the world who – by sharing their time, money, skills and prayer – allow us to keep our promise of a daily school meal to little ones in desperate need.

“Whether it’s our work in South Sudan – a country where an adolescent girl is three times more likely to die in childbirth than complete primary school – or our newest programme in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, where children have endured years of unimaginable trauma, we can see that the daily meal Mary’s Meals provides – coupled with the promise of an all-important education – is more crucial than ever.

“The incredibly generous response to our East Africa Emergency Appeal, which has already allowed us to expand to reach 2,000 additional children in South Sudan in these last few weeks, is testament to the unwavering commitment of our supporters who refuse to accept that any child should go hungry in this world of plenty. Yet, with 61 million children still out of school around the world and many more chronically hungry, we know that our work is only just beginning.”

Mary’s Meals is committed to keeping its running costs low, with at least 93% of donations being spent on charitable activities. This is only possible because most of our work – from awareness and fundraising activities to the cooking and serving of the meals – is done by an army of dedicated volunteers, including more than 80,000 in Malawi alone.

The average global cost to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year is just £13.90 / $19.50 / €15.60.

There are many different ways you can help – by donating your time, money, skills and prayers.