Mary’s Meals puts one in the net with Southampton FC

Southampton FC's Saints Foundation has officially announced Mary's Meals as its international charity partner.

Mary’s Meals formalised its official international charity partnership with Southampton Football Club at an event at the club’s Staplewood training ground last night (Dec 3).

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, CEO and founder of Mary’s Meals and Alan Brown, Executive Director of Mary’s Meals UK, met with Southampton Football Club owner, Katharina Liebherr, and club chairman, Ralph Kreuger, at a special event to cement the relationship.

Among the crowd were Ronald Koeman, Erwin Koeman, and Jan Kluitenberg, while club captain Kelvin Davis and team captain Jose Fonte also showed their support.

The event informed invited guests of the good work that Mary’s Meals does – helping to feed impoverished and chronically hungry children in 12 countries around the world – and of the football club’s fundraising intentions.

It was also confirmed that the first team’s match-day training wear will bear the Mary’s Meal’s logo for the rest of this season!

A number of fundraising initiatives have also been put in place for this weekend’s game against Aston Villa, as well two further matches planned for 19 December against Spurs and a Boxing Day match against Arsenal. These include a percentage of funds from retail and hot food sales and the match-day magazine to go towards Mary’s Meals.

Katharina Liebherr revealed that she’d first read of Mary’s Meals in a newspaper and had first been intrigued by the charity’s name as Southampton play at St Mary’s Stadium. She added that she had then been so impressed by the charity’s work that she believed the club just had to support Mary’s Meals.

Ralph Kreuger, club chairman added: “As a club we entertain thousands of people on a regular basis and we feel we have a responsibility. Not only can we support Mary’s Meals to help strengthen their financial situation, but more than that we can offer our time. 

“If we can help Mary’s Meals grow as a name and a brand around the UK and around the world, then that is the biggest gift we can give to them. When you hear that £12.20 can feed a child for an entire school year with Mary’s Meals, how can you not want to become a part of that?”

Delighted at the news of the partnership, Magnus MacFarlane- Barrow added: “I’m so moved that Katharina took the time to read about Mary’s Meals and that she has been so impressed by our work to have made us the club’s official international charity partner. This is fantastic news for Mary’s Meals and another step in introducing us to new supporters to help us feed more chronically hungry children across the world.”

All money donated to Mary’s Meals between now and 28 December will be matched by the UK Government – meaning that the charity will be able to feed twice as many children with donations made within this period.