Jean Johansson sitting in a Santa hat, next to a Christmas table, holding up a Mary's Meals sign in one hand and a Christmas gift card in the other

Jean Johansson spreads ho-ho-hope with Mary's Meals this Christmas

We've teamed up with the TV star to encourage families to bring hope to hungry children over the festive season

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A Place in the Sun star Jean Johansson is encouraging parents to leave out a Mary’s Meals gift card for Santa to deliver to a hungry child this Christmas, to help feed children in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Together with the international school meals charity, Jean is inspiring parents to include a Mary’s Meals gift card when they traditionally leave treats and letters out for Father Christmas on 24 December, the idea being that Santa will then pass this on to a child in need. 

Jean Johansson stands against blue wall wearing Christmas jumper and Santa hat, holding Mary's Meals gift card

Mum of one, Jean, who recently landed a hosting role on This Morning, says: “Alongside milk and cookies, my son and I will be leaving out a Mary’s Meals gift card for Santa to pass on to a hungry child this year. These Christmas gift cards cost just £19.15 and will feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year.

“Christmas is a time for giving, and there is no better gift than the gift of hope for a hungry child. Mary’s Meals brings joy to children all year round, and these beautiful cards will allow you to give that joy in the form of a life-changing daily school meal. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce children to the idea of giving back at Christmas and showing them how they can help others at this special time of year.”

By purchasing a Mary’s Meals gift card, your support can have a huge impact on the life of a child, like Sushila, this Christmas.

Sushila and her teacher sit outside class

Sushila and her teacher

Sushila lives in a rural part of Jharkhand, India. Her father died of a snake bite and her mother was unable to support Sushila without his income so she went to live with her grandparents. Sushila has to walk 8km each way to school every day, but she is determined to keep studying. Sushila says: “There are many times when I don’t eat at home, so when I eat at school it gives me lots of energy and I feel great. I like to study and want to change my life, so the food is a big bonus.”

Dan McNally, Head of Grassroots Engagement at Mary’s Meals says: “We’re so grateful to Jean for spreading ho-ho-hope this Christmas and helping us to reach the next hungry child waiting for Mary’s Meals.

“Our beautiful Christmas cards and gifts will not only put a smile on the faces of your friends, family and Santa Claus himself, but crucially, will change the lives of hungry children living in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

Gift cards, Christmas card packs and other festive gifts including mugs, dog bandanas and 2024 calendars are available to buy now from our online shop

We are encouraging people to Double The Love this winter. Until 22 January 2024, donations - including gift card purchases - made to Mary’s Meals will be doubled by a group of generous supporters, up to £1 million.

Change lives this Christmas

There are so many ways to help feed hungry children this Christmas.