Mary’s Meals has announced an exciting milestone, as they serve meals to 2,279,941 children in 20 countries, but stress that they face a difficult year ahead.
The Argyll charity helps some of the poorest countries around the globe, offering nutritious meals to children affected by conflict and natural disasters – such as Yemen, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
Despite the charity’s good news, they face a tough year ahead with terrible conflicts affecting countries they work in, as well as the cost-of-living crisis hitting the UK and overseas.
With the expected rise of food prices in many countries, this will make it even harder for Mary’s Meals to feed hungry children.
This year, the charity has helped children impacted by cyclones in Malawi and Madagascar, children feeling war in Ethiopia, and serving school meals in Yemen – a country enduring one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
Abdo, from a semi-arid region called Tigray in Ethiopia, an area which has been significantly affected by brutal fighting over the past 18 months, benefits from Mary’s Meals.
The conflict in Tigray has left millions of people displaced in desperate need of food aid.
He said: “We could hear heavy gunfire and bombs dropping.
“I found my father along with many people fleeing the village in search of safety, but just a few hours later, I was alone, separated from him among the thousands of desperate people fleeing the war.”
Abdo was told by a neighbour that rebels were looking for his father.
Since that day, Abdo has had no information about the whereabouts of his parents or the rest of his family.
At just 11, he lives alone in a temporary camp in Mekelle eating Mary’s Meals.
‘Little acts of love are needed now than ever before’
Daniel Adams, executive director of Mary’s Meals, said : “An incredible 2,279,941 hungry children will eat our life-changing meals today.
“This is only possible because of the kindness and generosity we witnessed throughout 2021, for which we are very thankful.
“However, we know that a difficult year lies ahead.
“Many of our dedicated supporters will be affected by the cost-of-living crisis here in the UK, and conflict and natural disasters continue to make our work overseas both challenging and indispensable.
“It is easy to feel hopeless when faced with so much suffering. But every single thing that people do for our mission makes an enormous difference to the children who eat Mary’s Meals – and these little acts of love are needed now more than ever before.”
The average global cost to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year is just £15.90.
For more information on the work of Mary’s Meals, please visit marysmeals.org.uk