Year-end reflections from our founder

‘A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on’, a poet once wrote.

Back to all stories | Posted on 20 December 23

In this increasingly messed-up world I find those words encouraging. Even in the darkest times there is a multitude of reasons to believe in a better future,simply because there is a multitude of children. And within each child there aremany wonderful things waiting to unfold – things that can make this world better.

While children may be our source of hope for a better tomorrow, we can be their hope for today. Of the tens ofmillions of children who are chronically hungry, many are at risk of hunger related illness and death. For them, unless they can be assured of food today, there is little point in talking about the future.

The UN’s goal of Zero Hunger by 2030 has gone from something laudable and achievable to a cause of collective shame when set against current progress. Nearly one in 10 people on the planet are now experiencing food insecurity. Over 20% of children under five are stunted – so undernourished that they’re likely to suffer permanently impaired development. And we know that many of these children are also being deprived of another vital key for unlocking their potential: education. Tens of millions of children are either missing school or are unable to concentrate in class because of hunger.

By providing a daily meal at school, Mary’s Meals creates a fundamental change in the lives of children who don’t have enough to eat and provides hope for today and tomorrow. And this hope feels even more important when those children are growing up in war zones and places of conflict, as many in our program are. To see laughing children sit down together to eat in a safe place of learning in South Sudan, Ethiopia or Haiti is to see hope for thebeginning of peace.

We can provide a meal for just 16 cents (thanks to the work of many thousands of volunteer cooks and our experience in sourcing locally procured food in bulk), meaning that a child can be fed for a whole school year for $31.70.

There comes a time when we need to stop with all this talking, all this goal setting, all this waiting for someone else to do something, and just act. Each of us can choose to do something. You and I, we can even stop child hunger. At the very least for one child, we can.

God bless,

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow
Founder and CEO