Players of People’s Postcode Lottery to support 36,000 children with Mary’s Meals

Mary’s Meals is to receive £450,000 in funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery to provide life-changing school meals for children living in Africa.

Back to all stories | Posted on 31 Jan 2017 in News

The generous funding will ensure that we can provide one good meal every school day to at least 36,000 children living in poverty across Malawi, Liberia, Zambia, and Kenya this year. 

The majority of the children to benefit from players' funding are in Malawi, where a deepening food crisis has left 6.5 million people – 40% of the population – facing severe food insecurity. Mary’s Meals is helping to ease the burden on impoverished families, most of whom have no food stores at home following a very poor harvest. 

One such family is headed by Fanny Galeta, mother of five. She had hoped to match her 2015 harvest of 11 bags of maize, but last year the family’s sizeable patch of land produced nothing – not even one plate of corn.

Thankfully, four of her five children attend Chigona Primary School, where every pupil receives a daily mug of maize porridge, cooked and served by community volunteers on behalf of Mary’s Meals.

Fanny said: “I don't have to wake the kids in the morning. They know they will eat at school, so they get themselves up and say we're going to school!

"I worry for the children a lot. This is the first time in my life that harvest has been so poor and hunger has been so bad … [but] my heart smiles when my children go to school."

The nutritious daily meals are making a significant impact. In schools where children receive Mary’s Meals, an impact study has shown a rise in rates of enrolment, attendance and academic performance. 

Currently, we are reaching more than 1.1 million children across four continents with a nutritious meal every day they attend school, by working in partnership with local communities. In Malawi alone, more than 80,000 volunteers take turns to cook huge pots of maize porridge (phala) for the children every school day.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and chief executive of Mary’s Meals, said: “We are incredibly thankful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for this funding, which will ensure that thousands of children are given the chance to attend school, learn, and fulfil their potential. 

“With 61 million children still out of school because of poverty, our work is just beginning, and we are grateful to all those who reach out to vulnerable, hungry children through our work.”

People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery, with at least 30% of ticket sales being gifted to good causes.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Mary’s Meals are doing incredible work to provide thousands of children with one good meal a day. 

“I am proud that players of People’s Postcode Lottery continue to support the phenomenal work of this fantastic charity.”

Find out what's going on at Mary's Meals.