A message from Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary's Meals
Join the Mary's Meals community and change the lives of hungry children in 2024
“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on,” a poet once wrote.
In this increasingly messed-up world I find those words encouraging. Even in the darkest times there is a multitude of reasons to believe in a better future, simply because there is a multitude of children. And within each child there are many wonderful things waiting to unfold – things that can make this world better.
While children may be our source of hope for a better tomorrow, we can be their hope for today. Of the tens of millions of children who are chronically hungry, many are at risk of hunger-related illness and death. For them, unless they can be assured of food today, there is little point in talking about the future.
Nearly one in 10 people on the planet are now experiencing food insecurity. More than 20% of children under five are stunted in growth – so undernourished that they’re likely to suffer permanently impaired development. And we know that many of these children are also being deprived of another vital key for unlocking their potential: education. Tens of millions of children are either missing school or are unable to concentrate in class because of hunger.
By providing a daily meal at school, Mary’s Meals creates a fundamental change in the lives of children who don’t have enough to eat and provides hope for today and tomorrow. And this hope feels even more important when those children are growing up in war zones and places of conflict, as many in our programme countries are. To see laughing children sit down together to eat in a safe place of learning in South Sudan, Ethiopia or Haiti is to see hope for the beginning of peace.
We can provide a meal for just 10p (thanks to the work of many thousands of volunteer cooks and our experience in sourcing locally procured food in bulk), meaning that a child can be fed for a whole school year for £19.15.
The start of a year, like the birth of a new baby, is a time that feels full of potential. This January, I’d like to ask you to join with us in the belief that little acts of love truly can change the world. Each of us can choose to do something. You and I, we can even stop child hunger. At the very least for one child, we can.