Mary’s Meals: Every child deserves an education—and enough to eat

DANBURY—During the 2018 Mission Cooperative Program, the international charity Mary’s Meals will be visiting the Diocese of Bridgeport. Volunteer speakers from Mary’s Meals will be making a Mission Appeal at Sacred Heart Parish in Danbury on July 14-15.

Mary’s Meals sets up community-run school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities, where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education. The charity is a grassroots global movement of people from all walks of life, united by the belief that no child in this world of plenty should endure a day without a meal. By providing a daily meal in a place of education, Mary’s Meals encourages chronically hungry children into the classroom—often for the first time—where they can gain an education that can provide a route out of poverty.

Mary’s Meals began in Malawi in 2002 when the charity’s founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, visited Malawi during a famine and met a young woman named Emma, who was dying of AIDS. Emma sat on the mud floor of her hut surrounded by her children. When Magnus asked her 14-year-old son, Edward, what his dreams were in life, his stark reply was: “To have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.” Mary’s Meals mission is to enable people to offer their money, goods, skills, time, or prayer, and through this involvement, provide the most effective help to those suffering the effects of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest communities. Those involved in the first Mary’s Meals projects were all people whose lives had been changed by pilgrimages to Medjugorje and chose, therefore, to name the organization in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who raised her own child in poverty.

A simple idea that started in just one school in Malawi in 2002, feeding 200 children, now feeds 1,257,278 daily meals to children in their place of education across fifteen countries, including Malawi, India, Kenya, Lebanon, South Sudan, Haiti, Syria and Ethiopia.

Mary’s Meals has a strong commitment to simplicity and keeping costs as low as possible, and 93% of all contributions towards Mary’s Meals are spent on charitable activities. With this commitment to simplicity and with a heavy reliance on local volunteers in communities where Mary’s Meals operations, it costs Mary’s Meals only $19.50 to feed a child every day for an entire school year.

There are 61 million children currently out of school due to poverty, and many more attending class so hungry they are not able to concentrate and learn. Mary’s Meals believes that by working together, there is no good reason why its vision that every child receives a daily meal in their place of education cannot be realized. To learn more about Mary’s Meals, please visit, call 1.800.385.4983, or email