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Our Story

OUR STORY

Mary’s Meals is a global charity with a simple vision – that every child receives one daily meal in their place of education and that all those who have more than they need share with those who lack even the most basic things.

Looking to discover more about Mary’s Meals and the work we do to feed the next child? Here, you can learn more about the history of Mary’s Meals; the 20 countries where we work spanning Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean; and how our vision to provide a daily meal to desperately poor children in a place of education came to be realised.

TIMELINE

1992

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow and his brother organise a local appeal for those suffering the effects of the Bosnian war and deliver aid to Medjugorje.

1993

The Scottish International Relief (SIR) charity is registered.

SIR expands. Charity work includes delivering aid to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, building homes in Romania and funding additional projects.

2002

Mary’s Meals is born.

Magnus visits Malawi and meets a dying mother and her children. Her eldest son tells Magnus: “I want to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.”

2003

The first school meals are served in Chipini and Chilomoni, Malawi.

2004

Mary’s Meals reaches children in Liberia and India.

Our first information point opens in Medjugorje.

2005

Mary’s Meals arrives in Kenya.

Ireland joins the Mary’s Meals family.

2006

Children in Haiti eat Mary’s Meals for the first time.

We welcome Germany into the Mary’s Meals family.

2008

The first meals are served in Myanmar, Uganda, South Sudan and Thailand.

The USA joins the Mary’s Meals global movement.

2010

Mary’s Meals begins feeding children in Ecuador!

Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina join the Mary’s Meals family.

2011

The school feeding programme arrives in Benin.

Italy joins the Mary’s Meals global movement.

2012

We welcome Canada and the Netherlands to our global family.

2013

Austria joins the Mary’s Meals movement.

2014

School meals are first served in Zambia.

Spain is welcomed into the Mary’s Meals family.

2015

Mary’s Meals feeds one million children around the world every school day.

Magnus’ book, The Shed That Fed A Million Children, is published.

2016

Our school feeding programme is launched in the Middle East to help Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon, alongside their Lebanese classmates.

2017

Children in the city of Aleppo, Syria, and in the Tigray region of Ethiopia are served Mary’s Meals for the first time.

Belgium joins the Mary’s Meals family.

We serve our billionth meal to 12-year-old Mohsin in India.

2018

Australia, the Czech Republic and France join the Mary’s Meals family.

Meals are first served to children in Zimbabwe and a small number in Madagascar.

2019

Mary's Meals reaches the milestone of feeding 1.5 million children every school day.

Slovakia and Poland are welcomed into the Mary's Meals movement.

2020

Mary's Meals adapts school feeding programme to offer take-home rations to children and families in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mary's Meals expands its school feeding programme to Niger.

Magnus' book, GIVE: Charity and the Art of Living Generously is published.

2021

We are feeding more than two million children every school day.

The Shed That Fed 2 Million children, the fully updated edition of Magnus’

2015 book is released to celebrate the two million announcement.