Mary’s Meals reaches more than 1,000,000 children every school day in Malawi

Life in Malawi

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 169 out of 191 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI).  A staggering 70% of the population live below the international poverty line ($2.15 per day) and 34.9% of children under five have stunted growth.

Malawi has consistently high levels of food insecurity and its people are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As families struggle to find enough food to eat, survival often takes priority over education.

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa. The country is well known for its spectacular lakes and sprawling highlands. Lake Nyasa, known as ‘Lake Malawi’, makes up more than one-fifth of the country’s total area.

Often referred to as ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’, Malawi is renowned for the warmth of its people. 

Mary's Meals in Malawi

Malawi is where our school feeding program began, and where our first meals were served in 2003.  

Malawi is our largest program – serving more than 1 million children every school day – and is delivered by Mary’s Meals Malawi alongside a local partner, MCSPA, who we began working with in 2020. The program is able to reach so many children because of tens of thousands of volunteers from local communities who give their time freely to prepare and serve our nutritious meals.

Mary’s Meals operates in the majority of districts in Malawi and our program is strongly supported by the Government of Malawi. Most schools receiving Mary’s Meals are in the Southern Region, but large numbers of children are also supported in the Central and Northern regions. We also reach pre-school children who are most vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition. 

Malawi is central to the Mary’s Meals story. It was here during a famine in 2002 that Magnus met Edward, a young boy whose mother was dying from AIDS. Magnus asked Edward about his hopes and dreams and his reply – “I want to have enough food to eat and to be able to go to school one day” – inspired our mission and the work we do today.