From the 1,519 schools working with Mary’s Meals to provide daily nutritious meals to 1,101,206 hungry learners every school day, to the thousands of schoolchildren who work hard in their own communities to support our work, schools are at the heart of everything we do. 

In this blog we celebrate the impressive efforts of pupils, staff and parents from school communities across the UK whose actions are helping Mary’s Meals bring more children to classrooms all over the world.

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Primary School, York

Schoolchildren at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs (OLQM) Primary School in York got into the Christmas spirit of giving last year, raising nearly £2,000 for Mary’s Meals during Advent. 

Year 6 pupils learned about Mary’s Meals during a retreat to Myddleton Grange and were immediately inspired to involve their whole school community in supporting our work. 

Youngsters in the first three infant classes asked audiences at their annual nativity play to dig deep and donate to Mary’s Meals, while pupils in older year groups organised collections at the school’s Advent services.

Julie Couttie, a teacher at OLQM, said: “The pupils’ response to Mary’s Meals was astonishing. This is the most we’ve ever collected during Advent.

“They were so surprised by how little it takes to feed a child for a year and we were so proud when we worked out how many children will benefit from our fundraising. The work of the charity really touched the children’s hearts and they all went home and told their families about Mary’s Meals.”

Oban High School, Oban

From the very early days of our work, Mary’s Meals has received fantastic support from schools. Oban High School, which is just a short forty-five minute drive from our global headquarters in Dalmally, has raised thousands of pounds for Mary’s Meals over the years, by hosting events such as bake sales and ceilidhs to support our feeding programmes around the world. 

English teacher, Megan Seacord, said: “I think having the local link to Mary’s Meals is a really important way of teaching our pupils about the difference they can make to the world.

“Mary’s Meals was born here, in our area, which can sometimes feel a little remote from the rest of the world. But the charity shows that it doesn’t take a huge, corporate effort to make change happen. Wonderful things can grow from just a small seed. One person helping at a time can achieve something hugely important.”

St Mary’s Primary School, Hamilton

St Mary’s Primary School in Hamilton has been supporting Mary’s Meals for almost 10 years and even played a starring role in our 2015 Mary’s Meals Day in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall! Pupils from the school choir performed to hundreds of Mary’s Meals supporters at the event to rapturous applause.

Not only have St. Mary’s pupils been raising thousands of pounds for Mary’s Meals since 2007, they’ve also donated 2,156 backpacks - filled with important educational supplies for children who receive Mary’s Meals - to The Backpack Project.

Teacher Margaret-Anne McLeod said: “I’m extremely proud of all the children and their parents for the way they’ve supported Mary’s Meals over the years.

“We try to teach the children that they can help others and bring joy to other children’s lives just by doing something small and simple.

“We hope that people will see what the pupils have achieved and realise that they could make a difference through Mary’s Meals as well.”

St. Vincent’s Primary School, Birmingham

One Birmingham primary school raised over £600 for Mary’s Meals while also helping hungry people in their own city. 

Pupils at St. Vincent’s Primary School (pictured in the header image) kicked off their Advent charitable giving last year by donating food to give directly to people living on the streets of Birmingham. When Assistant Head Teacher, Mrs Hewetson, told the children about the work of Mary’s Meals, they were excited by the prospect of also giving the special gift of food to children in other countries. 

St. Vincent’s initially set out to raise £12.20, the cost of feeding one child through Mary’s Meals. However, the schoolchildren were incredibly motivated by their fundraising, organising toy sales, a sponsored skip, and cake sales to bring in a fantastic £641.19 for our work! 

Thank you to all the wonderful schools who support Mary’s Meals. You are AMAZING!