"Porridge fills my stomach and gives me energy."

Back to all stories | Posted on 13 September 21 in Blog

At Mary’s Meals, our community run school feeding programs were born from the belief that every child deserves an education and enough to eat. We often talk about the positive benefits a daily school meal in a place of education can bring to a young person’s life, but what exactly are these benefits?

The Power of Concentration
In recent years, studies have shown that specific nutrients can directly affect cognitive processes and functions. The ingestion of food triggers the release of peptide hormones into the circulation, these substances can then reach centers in the brain and activate pathways that promote activity directly contributing to learning and memory.

“I eat porridge when I come to school and I love it. It gives me vitamins, and also makes my body strong and healthy. I don’t feel weak in class after I eat porridge and it helps me concentrate well.” Tamandani Nambedza, Chiradzulu Primary School, Malawi

A daily school meal helps to encourage children like Tamandani into the classroom but it’s these vital nutrients that help to focus his concentration, providing him with the opportunity to thrive in his studies and further his education.

The Power of Energy

“Porridge fills my stomach and gives me energy. I look healthier and I’m able to work hard in class.” David, Chigombe Primary School, Malawi

David wants to be a doctor when he grows up. “I want to assist sick people” he says with a smile. The human brain needs a steady supply of nutrients to keep the crippling effects of fatigue at bay. However, some foods, such as the fortified corn-soya porridge we serve, provide slow-release energy that helps us to keep going throughout the day. Thanks to the power of porridge, David now has the energy he needs to help him work harder in class, paving the way for this bright young individual to realize lasting change in his own life and contribute to a better future his entire community.

The Power of Porridge

There is so much abundance in the world, and yet, millions of children from some of the world’s most vulnerable communities are being denied that most basic of things – an education – because of poverty and hunger. With your help, Mary’s Meals is on a mission to change that.
“Since Mary’s Meals has come, many children who had stopped attending have returned to school. You can see their enthusiasm!” Vice Principal Daniel Cooper, Banjeh Public School, Montserrado, Liberia

“When I come to help here, I notice fewer children are absent because of the porridge. The children are improving in class and their health is also changing for the better. The children can concentrate a lot because of the porridge. It’s important for my grandchildren to come to school and be educated.” Joseph Banda, PTA Committee member, Zambia

As a direct result of Mary’s Meals’ school feeding programmes, teachers reported a reduction in the number of children dropping out of school because of hunger, observing that progression and completion rates had improved.
Daily school meals are helping to change the story for 1,838,859 children every single day. You can help us to reach the next child. To find out how click here.

The Power of Porridge | Alinafe’s story
Read Alinafe’s heartwarming story to find out more about the day she and her friends were equipped with #ThePowerOfPorridge, forever changing their lives for the better:
“The air was filled with whistling and song! It was the beginning of a new chapter. We would no longer be hungry.”