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Mary’s Meals feeds 1 million pupils

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The international charity organisation, Mary’s Meals, which provides life changing meals to the world’s poorest children every school day, is now feeding over 1 Million children globally.

In Malawi, Mary’s Meals is now feeding a total of about 800,000 children.

Mary’s Meals started with feeding 200 children in one primary school in 2002 in Limbe but has since spread to other 12 countries in the 13 years it has been in existence. It is helping the poorest children who could not attend school because of hunger.

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On Tuesday, the organisation celebrated a milestone having reached out to over 1 million children with a daily meal in schools across, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Founder of Mary’s Meals Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow said much as reaching out to a million children five days a week is an achievement worthy celebrating, the organisation is still looking forward to reach out to more children who are denied access to education due to the burden of hunger.

“I am very happy seeing this enormous impact bringing the poorest children in the classroom and helping them learn. We would like to scale up and reach out to many other schools that we are not feeding to ensure that all children are going to school,” Barrow said.

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Barrow also disclosed that in Malawi, the organisation is pumping over 7 million pounds with an estimated feeding cost of about K10, 000 per child annually.

He said the local volunteers are the ones taking a greater role in feeding thousands of poor children in the country through the programme.

Mary’s Meals Country Director Martin Swinchatt said as an organisation they realise that hunger is the greatest barrier that prevents children from going to school.

He added that with the latest reports indicating that hunger is killing more people than Aids, Malaria and Cancer combined, Mary’s Meals is targeting to feed over 880,000 children by 2016.

“The programme is working as a magnet attracting children to school … the food we are giving is nutritious and energy giving just to make sure that it helps children see through the rest of the day,” he said.

Swinchatt ruled out assertions that the organisation will suspend the programme in some schools following the looming hunger in the country.

According to the surveys conducted by the organisation on the contribution of the school feeding programme since its inception 13 years ago, school enrolment has increased by up to 50percent. 97percent of children are said to find it easier now to learn because they receive food. There is also a reduction in the number of children who feel hungry at school to 7 percent from 42percent.

One of the organisation’s trustees Justin Malewezi commended the Mary’s Meals for sustaining the programme that has seen great improvements in the country’s education.

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