I have been a part of the mission of Mary's Meals for 10 years now and love it for its beautiful simplicity and invitation to all to participate. The community members of the children served are invited to participate in this mission and it couldn't do without them. There are over 80,000 volunteers in Malawi alone! Mary's Meals serves daily meals to hungry children in their place of education to encourage them to attend school and gain an education that can lift them from poverty. Because Mary's Meals engages the volunteer help of the local community members of the school to serve the meals to the children, these community members are given the ability to be a part of the solution to provide food for their children. Also, the cost to feed 1 child for a whole school year is just $21.00. That allows donors like me to really make an impact with our support and receive the joy of truly making a difference in the lives of these children. Today Mary's Meals is feeding over 1.6 million children every school day. Even when the schools closed due to Covid-19 they found a way to get the food to the children learning at home. The founder of Mary's Meals received a top 10 CNN Heroes award in 2010 for his work and the work has grown and multiplied to feed children in food insecure communities in 19 countries around the globe. It has also become a global family of supporters united in this beautiful work. Besides it's grassroots model of fundraising, each year at Thanksgiving Mary's Meals USA hosts a virtual walk/run to unite the family of supporters in solidarity with the children who receive Mary's Meals, some of whom walk a tremendous distance to get to school and receive the meals. Please join us at www.marysmealsusa.org. Especially at Thanksgiving I realize how much we have to be grateful for everyday that is normally taken for granted, like a daily meal, and hope that these children will all know that a daily meal is something they can count on because we care to share what we have received.
I first heard about Mary's Meals while watching CNN Heroes, a yearly special that features 10 people from around the world who are making a difference in the lives of others. Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the founder and CEO of Mary's Meals, definitely fits this description. Inspired by the work that he and Mary's Meals are doing, I decided to become a fundraiser and support their mission. Mary's Meals believes that every single child should be able to eat a meal every day, and that in a world of plenty, this is more than possible. My favorite aspect of Mary's Meals is how smart the organization's method is. Mary's Meals provides food for children, but the key is that they provide it in school. Thus, the children have to attend school to be fed. For those who are constantly battling hunger, food is an invaluable incentive. With the introduction of Mary's Meals, school attendance, test scores, and graduation rates have all sky-rocketed. In addition, Mary's Meals purchases its food from local farmers, so the local economy is supported, as well. Instead of viewing its mission as "swooping in and saving," Mary's Meals recognizes that change must stem from within the community itself. Thus, local volunteers and mothers put in the hours of work each day to prepare the meals, feed the children, and clean up afterwards. This is an incredibly smart and sustainable model!!! Currently, Mary's Meals feeds over 700,000 children every single day. PLEASE donate and help that number grow. It only takes $16.80 to feed a child for an entire school year. At a cost of six cents per meal, you really can make a difference in the lives of so many children.