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A global charity with a local link is carrying on providing meals to the poorest countries across the world despite the problems of the pandemic.
Mary’s Meals, led by Dalmally-based founder and chief executive Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, has pledged to carry on delivering for more than a million children who rely on its school feeding programme.
It usually serves meals in schools across the world, attracting children to the classroom where they can gain an education that will one day be their ladder out of poverty.
But with schools shut, it has quickly adapted and is already distributing food in Kenya for parents to collect so their children can eat at home.
The new approach has the agreement of government and community leaders.
Mary’s Meals’ volunteers are also ensuring that food is distributed to adhere to public health policies, and which prioritises safety for all.
It plans to roll out the same approach in Malawi, Zambia, India and Haiti as part of its purpose to feed children in 19 of the world’s poorest countries.
Daniel Adams, UK executive director of Mary’s Meals, said: ‘All around the world, schools are closed and homes have become places of learning.
‘This means we have had to find new ways to feed the children who eat Mary’s Meals – sometimes the only food they receive in a day.
‘The coronavirus crisis presents extraordinarily difficult circumstances, but we are determined to keep our promise to the children who rely on Mary’s Meals.
‘We have a long history of feeding children in the world’s most challenging
‘This has included delivering much-needed food during the time of the Ebola virus in Liberia and emergency feeding during famine in East Africa, as well as in conflict-hit South Sudan.’
A UN report published last week warned that around 265 million people are forecast to be facing ‘acute food insecurity’ by the end of 2020.
There are fears this could double the 130 million estimated to have suffered severe food shortages in 2019.
Many of the countries predicted to be worst affected are those in which Mary’s Meals is working.
Mr Adams added: ‘At a time when people in the UK are also facing many challenges, we are so grateful for everything our supporters are doing to ensure the children we feed can grow up strong and healthy.
‘It is thanks to their kindness and generosity that this mission can continue, even amidst the most uncertain of times.’
To find out more or to donate visit marysmeals.org.uk