Our founder, Magnus, reflects on the challenges of providing life-changing meals during a global pandemic. 

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow
Mary's Meals founder and CEO

Back to all stories | Posted on 01/13/21 in NewsBlog

The closure of schools around the world in March was a low point in our Mary’s Meals journey. It was hard to immediately see a way forward. We found ourselves thinking of the children who eat Mary’s Meals and who would now be without.

While it was possible to understand why those children were temporarily being denied their education for the good of their nation, it was impossible to accept the idea of them also being denied their daily meal.

Especially because for many of them that is what Mary’s Meals is – their one daily meal, often representing a very large proportion of what they eat.

Very quickly things began to shift, though – simply because the Mary’s Meals family refused to accept there was no way forward. Many voices were raised in prayer whilst others talked to community leaders and public health authorities – and very quickly solutions were found.

While it was possible to understand why those children were temporarily being denied their education for the good of their nation, it was impossible to accept the idea of them also being denied their daily meal.

Especially because for many of them that is what Mary’s Meals is – their one daily meal, often representing a very large proportion of what they eat.

Very quickly things began to shift, though – simply because the Mary’s Meals family refused to accept there was no way forward. Many voices were raised in prayer whilst others talked to community leaders and public health authorities – and very quickly solutions were found.

In one country after another, new models were designed and implemented incredibly quickly, enabling food to be collected at school stores and taken home for cooking.

We have kept our promise to the little ones, even in these dark times and in the face of what, at first, appeared to be insurmountable obstacles.

In many ways it feels like a miracle – one that can only be sustained by the continued outpouring of the little acts of love on which this mission relies.

More than ever, we need to remind people of the continuing needs of little ones in far-away places and plead with them, despite their own hardships, to not forget them.

Although the global pandemic has created uncertainty and an ever-shifting landscape, we remain true to our vision. As schoolchildren begin to return to classrooms in some of the countries where we work and others remain at home, we stay focused on the hungry child and our promise to them.

Thank you for helping us to fulfill that promise; thank you for sharing our vision that no child should endure a day without a meal.

In uncertain times, your generosity is needed more than ever.

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