A Highland charity which feeds starving children across 12 countries in the developing world has received a funding boost.
Mary’s Meals, based at Dalmally in Argyll, has been awarded £200,000 by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The funds awarded to Mary’s Meals will enable the charity, which feeds more than one million of the world’s poorest children, to expand.
The lump sum is the latest in a series of charity awards made by players of the lottery, which is in its tenth anniversary year and has already given £91 million to charitable causes across Great Britain and internationally.
By providing a nutritious daily meal in school, Mary’s Meals attracts chronically hungry children into the classroom where they receive an education that can be their route out of poverty.
Mary’s Meals works in countries including Malawi, Liberia, Kenya, Zambia, Haiti, India, South Sudan, Ecuador, Burma, Benin, Thailand and Uganda.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, chief executive and founder of Mary’s Meals, said: “We are hugely grateful to be receiving support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
“Mary’s Meals reached the milestone of feeding more than one million children across 12 countries in Spring this year, however, with 59 million children in the world still out of school and hungry, I believe this work has just begun.
“Our new relationship with players of People’s Postcode Lottery is one more step towards helping these poverty-stricken countries across the world.”
Zambia is just one such country where Mary’s Meals is making a big difference. Daniel, aged 15, is visually impaired and attends the Magwero School for the Blind in the Chipata district of Zambia. He loves having Mary’s Meals at school.
He said: “I was much thinner and weaker before I got Mary’s Meals at school. I used to go hungry but now I eat every day and I really appreciate the porridge.”
The charity has also been described as a godsend by David Chaw a headteacher at Chambawa Primary School also in Chipata.
He said “If Mary’s Meals was not here many children would not eat as there is no food at home and children struggle with hunger.”
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery added: “Mary’s Meals does such fantastic work in the countries that it operates and we can’t wait to see the impact of the funding on the charity.”