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Mary’s Meals Christmas campaign: Poll says Mum should cook dinner

Three chefs supporting Mary's Meals Christmas campaign
The Mary's Meals Christmas campaign

We all knew it, but now it’s official – Mum’s Christmas dinners are the best.

Argyll charity Mary’s Meals asked 2,000 people across the UK who they would most like to cook Christmas dinner for them.

Almost half chose a family member over a celebrity chef, with the majority choosing their mum.

The survey was undertaken to launch the charity’s festive campaign, the Big Family Christmas, to help children around the world.

Mum’s cooking is best

The new survey asked 2,000 of you who you would like to cook your Christmas dinner.

And the results show that people would rather have their mum cooking than a celebrity chef.

Almost half (46%) chose a family member over a famous chef – so home-cooked trumped the likes of Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith, Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson.

One in three people (36%) said they would prefer their mum to cook their Christmas dinner over other family members.

Just 1% of respondents in Scotland said they would like their dad to prepare the Christmas dinner.

Mary’s Meals Big Family Christmas

The charity, which started in Lochgilphead, helps more than two million children in 19 of the world’s poorest countries, including Malawi, South Sudan and Haiti.

They provide children with a meal every school day, simultaneously feeding them and getting them learning.

Each December the charity holds a virtual Christmas dinner, Big Family Christmas, to raise funds to feed even more hungry children.

Last year, nearly 9,000 people around the world took part in the fundraiser.

The Mary’s Meals Christmas campaign is in full flight just now.

Anyone who takes part and donates at £15.90 – enough to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year – is eligible for the Big Family Christmas.

A picture of a Christmas dinner

They will receive a certificate to print at home and their name, or the name of a loved one, will appear on the charity’s virtual dinner table alongside names from across the world.

What does the expert say?

Scotland’s National Chef Gary Maclean responds: “Despite being a professional chef myself, I’m not surprised most people chose their mum to make their Christmas dinner. Us chefs are all well and good but nothing beats a home-cooked festive feast.”

“I love the idea of Mary’s Meals Big Family Christmas – and I’m going to set a place for my late father-in-law Davie, who would love that their virtual seat at the table will feed a hungry child in school for an entire year.”

Emma Hutton, head of grassroots engagement at Mary’s Meals, says: “Setting a place at our virtual table is a great way to give a truly life-changing gift, especially as each place set this Christmas will feed two children for an entire year thanks to our Double The Love campaign. I look forward to seeing as many names at the table as possible as we celebrate our Big Family Christmas!”

What it’s all for

Mary’s Meals typically serves a mug of porridge to more than one million children in Malawi every school day.

This includes children like 14-year-old Yasimini, who is one of five girls. Her two older sisters were married young, but Yasimini was able to continue with her studies because of Mary’s Meals.

A smiling girl in a blue-green dress
Yasimini from Malawi receives Mary’s Meals. Supplied by Mary’s Meals

She says: “I work very hard in class so I can fulfil my dream of becoming a nurse. I don’t want to end up getting married early like my sisters.”

“Mary’s Meals is very important because when I am attending classes I am strong and attentive and I can pay attention to what the teacher is teaching. This will help me to do well in my studies.”

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