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Life-Changing School Lunches

Thousands of children in Africa are being fed at school by charity Mary's Meals

Earlier this year, players of People's Postcode Lottery supported Mary's Meals with a further £450,000 to provide life-changing school meals for children living in Africa. This funding will ensure that Mary's Meals can provide one good meal every school day to children living in poverty across Malawi, Liberia, Zambia, and Kenya.

Mary's Meals runs school feeding programmes in 14 countries, and is now reaching more than 1.2 million of the world's poorest children with a nutritious daily meal in school. This helps them to gain an education which offers a route out of poverty.

Most of the children to benefit from People's Postcode Lottery players' funding live in Malawi, where a food crisis has left 6.5 million people facing severe food insecurity. This devastating situation means many children are unable to attend school - instead they are out working or begging for food.

Thirteen-year-old Alinafe is one of the 900,000 children in Malawi who are receiving Mary's Meals, and every school day she is sitting in a classroom with a full stomach, learning how to read and write.

The teenager looks after her two younger siblings in a basic, one-roomed mud house. Having lost both parents, she rises at dawn to take care of household chores and help her brothers prepare for the day ahead. At the weekends, she and her brothers collect firewood, chop it up, and burn it to make charcoal, which they then sell to make a little money.

At school, the three siblings can take some much-needed time to be children, enjoying a nutritious meal, playing with friends, and learning their lessons. All three children receive likuni phala (porridge) from Mary's Meals at Kogolo Primary.

"I like school very much because it gives me knowledge," Alinafe says. "I love reading books because they make me smart. I know if I work hard, I'll be able to get a good job and take care of my siblings."

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Founder and Chief Executive of Mary's Meals, said, "We are incredibly thankful to players of People's Postcode Lottery. Their support is ensuring that thousands of children are given the chance to attend school, learn and fulfil their potential.

"With 61 million children still out of school because of poverty, our work is just beginning, and we are grateful to all those who reach out to vulnerable, hungry children through our work."

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Mary's Meals provides food to thousands of children so they can make the most of their time in school
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