Mary's Meals is an international charity that sets up school feeding projects in some of the world's poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. Mary's Meals provides one daily meal in a place of learning to attract chronically poor children into a classroom where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.
During 1992 brothers Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow followed news on the Bosnian conflict with increasing horror. They were so moved that they decided to organise an appeal as the public continued sending donations they soon became registered charity, Scottish International Relief (SIR).
Mary's Meals was born in 2002 when Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow visited Malawi during a famine and met a young boy named Edward. When asked what his dreams were in life, he replied simply:
"I want to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day."
That moment was a key part of the inspiration which led to the founding of Mary's Meals. 13 years later, Mary's Meals feeds over 1,035,000 hungry children every school day across five continents, in countries including Malawi, Liberia, Kenya, Haiti, Uganda, South Sudan, Thailand and India.
Their vision is that every child receives a meal in their place of education and that all those who have more than they need share with those who lack even the most basic things.
Their mission is to enable people to offer their money, goods, skills, time, or prayers, and help provide the most effective aid to those suffering the effects of extreme poverty in the world's poorest communities.
The main focus of Mary's Meals are the school programmes, but they also provide emergency relief to vulnerable regions worldwide.
"We are absolutely blown away by the success of this year's fundraising campaign! tastecard's support of Mary's Meals is now into its second year and we are incredibly grateful for this tremendous level of support."
"When you consider that Mary's Meals can feed a hungry child for an entire school year for just £13.90, it isn't difficult to imagine the life-changing impact this donation will make in the communities in which we work."
Daniel Adams, the Director of Communications and Fundraising at Mary's Meals
It is fantastic news that the Mary's Meals are able to feed even more of the world's most vulnerable children, that they will not go hungry and through education now have the opportunity for a bright future. Our donation would not have been possible without the support of our fantastic members, so many many thanks from all at tastecard, and on behalf of Mary's Meals!
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary's Meals, would like to say a huge thank you to our members for your ongoing support.
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Mary's Meals are now feeding over 1 million of the world's poorest children every school day! Hear from Founder & CEO Magnus McFarlane-Barrow.
For 4 years tastecard has been supporting Mary's Meals in their mission to set up worldwide school feeding projects in some of the world's poorest communities, where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education.
we've donated £270,000
During our annual charity campaigns we make a donation to Mary's Meals for every tastecard sold. Thanks to the fantastic support from our members we have now been able to give a further £71,595 to Mary's Meals this year bringing our total to an incredible £270,000 over the last 4 years.
It costs £7,000 to build each Mary's Meals kitchen. These kitchens not only provide a safe and clean area for preparing and cooking food, but also provide a permanent structure which can be used as an extra classroom - particularly during the rainy season, when the children cannot learn outside. Wherever Mary's Meals works, we see significant increases in rates of enrolment, attendance and attainment - and these tastecard schools are no different.
In 2013 Mary's Meals built their first tastecard sponsored kitchen at Ntungulutsi Primary School in the Zomba District of Southern Malawi.
One of the children, Hawa Oliva said: "It is so important to me to get my mug of phala. It means I will grow to be strong and healthy. I never miss school anymore, there used to always be empty seats in my class but not anymore - the classes are always full. I really want to grow up and become a lawyer"
We have now helped Mary's Meals build a further 4 school kitchens across Malawi, providing equipment and food to feed over 9,000 hungry children at Nkulu, Muonekera, Nansadi, Ntungulutsi, and Tedzani Primary Schools.