The Oban Times - - Districts -

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

Mary’s Meals runs school feed­ing pro­grammes in some of the world’s poor­est com­mu­ni­ties to en­able chron­i­cally hun­gry chil­dren to achieve an ed­u­ca­tion that can set them free from poverty in the fu­ture.

The fund­ing en­sures Mary’s Meals 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 the fund­ing are in Malawi, where a deep­en­ing food cri­sis has left 6.5 mil­lion peo­ple – 40 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion – need­ing help. 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. 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.’

Mag­nus MacFar­lane-Bar­row, founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Mary’s Meals, said: ‘ With 61 mil­lion chil­dren still out of school be­cause of poverty, our work is just be­gin­ning and we are grate­ful to ev­ery­one who reaches out to vul­ner­a­ble, hun­gry chil­dren through our work.’

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