Scottish-based charity Mary’s Meals has received a £425,0000 funding boost thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, helping to provide life-changing school meals for some of the world’s poorest children.
Part of the funding award is being used to provide 9,000 impoverished children around the world with daily meals for a whole school year.
The remaining funding from players of the charity lottery will support the development of Mary’s Meals as it grows to reach more hungry children.
Mary’s Meals runs school feeding programmes in 15 countries to enable chronically hungry children to gain an education that can set them free from poverty in the future.
Along with essential investment to strengthen infrastructure, the latest funding boost is being used to deliver key projects in staff development, which includes work to protect and promote the founding values of the charity.
People’s Postcode Lottery players Tracey Black and Gilli Chrystal joined founder and global chief executive of Mary’s Meals, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, and Callum Aitken, programmes advisor with People’s Postcode Lottery, to celebrate the news.
They gathered in Dalmally in Argyll, at the shed where the work of the charity first began and which still serves as Mary’s Meals’ global headquarters.
Mr MacFarlane-Barrow said: “We are incredibly thankful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for sharing in our belief that every child should have enough to eat and an education. Together, we are giving hungry children the chance to fulfil their hopes and dreams for the future.
“The generosity of players means that 9,000 hungry children will eat a meal in school today and, looking to the future, many more young lives will be transformed by this wonderful gift.”
Mary’s Meals began feeding 200 children in one school in Malawi in 2002 and now reaches 1,257,278 children in their place of education.
Awards by the People’s Postcode Lottery has so far allowed the charity to reach thousands of hungry children across Africa, in countries including Malawi, Liberia, Zambia and Kenya.
Commenting on the latest funding, Callum Aitken, from the People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “It’s incredible we’ve raised more than £1.2 million to date for Mary’s Meals.
“The charity has gone from strength to strength since its beginnings in Dalmally and everyone at the lottery is humbled to play a part in this charity’s story.”
Working in partnership with local communities, Mary’s Meals provides school feeding in countries including Malawi, Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Syria and Lebanon.
The daily meal in school is a powerful incentive for children to come to school and in many places – such as South Sudan – it is a lifeline for children caught up in conflict and extreme poverty.
The charity recently launched a crisis campaign focused on its work in South Sudan in the hope of reaching children in a further five schools in need of support.
Picture: Mary’s Meals’ Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Tracey Black, Gilli Chrystal and Callum Aitken celebrate the news. (Mary’s Meals).