Blog: Mary’s Meals Moments

Back to all stories | Posted on 18 May 15 in Blog

Right now we’re feeding 996,926 children with a nutritious meal every school day and it’s all thanks to your brilliant support. As we get closer to reaching ONE MILLION children with a daily school meal, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the inspiring people, events and memorable moments that make Mary’s Meals so special to all of us.

Little acts of love

First up: a heart-warming story of extreme generosity. Marie, our Shop Manager in Oban, remembers when a mystery supporter brought in a £1,200 donation. When she asked for his details to thank him he replied, “You don’t need to know my name. Life’s been good to me.” 

This is just one of the many little acts of love that have helped our Scottish shops raise tens of thousands of pounds for Mary’s Meals over the years. 

Growing the global movement

Thanks to the overwhelming dedication from our fantastic supporters like you, word about our work has spread far and wide since we began in 2002 from a shed in Dalmally, Scotland. 

We now have support from all over the world - from America to Austria, Canada to Croatia, Italy to Ireland, Mary’s Meals affiliates and groups of supporters are forming around the world in order to raise funds and awareness of our work

Welcome, Zambia

The next in our moments series, is all about reaching more and more children around the world.

In 2014 we were delighted to welcome Zambia into the Mary’s Meals family where we are now feeding more than 19,000 children with a nutritious meal every school day.

Mrs Lungu, one of the teachers at a school in Chipata told us they were very excited about the introduction of the programme. “So many children come to school hungry” she said, “Mary’s Meals will make such a difference to them and their families.

Famous faces

We are so lucky to have such amazing supporters and over the years a few familiar faces have joined us on trips to our school feeding programmes. Duncan Bannatyne, Annie Lennox and Gerard Butler are just a few of our celebrity friends who have helped us to raise awareness about Mary’s Meals!

Most recently, after meeting our founder Magnus at the CNN Heroes Awards, Gerard Butler visited our programme in Liberia, where he spent time with children, volunteers and saw our work first hand

On behalf of you

Since Mary’s Meals began, we have been very lucky that our Founder Magnus has been able to accept, on behalf of the thousands of people all over the world who share our vision, a variety of awards recognising our life changing work.

Over the years Magnus has been named as one of the CNN Heroes, received an OBE on the 2011 New Years Honours list, and most recently was included in TIME magazine as one of the most influential people in the world for 2015!

Back to school in Liberia

Now here's a special moment - only last week Liberia was declared Ebola free! 

In 2014 the Ebola crisis brought our school feeding programme in Liberia to a halt. However, with the dedication of our committed team on the ground, we were able to provide emergency take home food rations to 100,000 children. 

We're thrilled that, thanks to your support, our school feeding programme has now resumed.

Martha goes viral

When school girl Martha Payne started blogging about her school dinners, little did she know it would be read by thousands of people across the world. 

She used her award winning blog, which has now had over 10 million hits, to raise awareness of Mary’s Meals. She has helped to build a school kitchen in Malawi, written a book, appeared in a BBC documentary and was awarded Young Fundraiser of the Year at the The Pride of Britain Awards for her fundraising efforts! Go Martha!

Our beautiful film, Child 31

If you've followed Mary’s Meals for a while then you’re sure to remember our memorable moment from 2012, when our beautiful film Child 31 was released. Capturing the life-changing school feeding programmes in Malawi, Kenya and India, Child 31 has been shown in over 300 locations in six continents and has garnered celebrity support from Celine Dion, Gerard Butler and Arun Ghandi.

Serving the first 200 meals in Malawi

We're currently feeding 996,926 children every school day but with the momentous milestone of reaching our first million children in sight, it seems only right to reflect on the first ever Mary’s Meals that were served. In Malawi, at schools in Chilomoni and Chipini, 200 meals were served to hungry children, enabling some of them to attend school for the very first time. How amazing is that?

Inspired by 14-year-old Edwards words “I would like to have enough food to eat and I would like to be able to go to school one day”, Mary’s Meals had begun!

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