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Mary’s Meals to provide food for more than one million children in their homes

Volunteers are distributing packages in villages across Kenya, with similar work about to begin in Malawi and Zambia.

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Children from Malawi normally receive a daily school meal from the charity (Mary’s Meals/PA)

Children from Malawi normally receive a daily school meal from the charity (Mary’s Meals/PA)

Children from Malawi normally receive a daily school meal from the charity (Mary’s Meals/PA)

Mary’s Meals is to deliver food to the homes of more than one million children who regularly rely on its service.

The Scottish charity usually serves meals in schools but has had to adapt to classrooms closing in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Volunteers are already distributing the charity’s food in villages across Kenya for parents to collect so their children can eat at home.

Work is now under way to repeat the approach in Malawi and Zambia after reaching agreements were reached with the two governments and community leaders.

We have had to find new ways to feed the children who eat Mary’s Meals – sometimes the only food they receive in a dayDaniel Adams, Mary's Meals

Daniel Adams, the charity’s UK executive director, said: “All around the world, schools are closed and homes have become places of learning.

“This means we have had to find new ways to feed the children who eat Mary’s Meals – sometimes the only food they receive in a day.

“The coronavirus crisis presents extraordinarily difficult circumstances but we are determined to keep our promise to the children who rely on Mary’s Meals.”

He added: “We have a long history of feeding children in the world’s most challenging environments.

“This has included delivering much-needed food during the time of the Ebola virus in Liberia and emergency feeding during famine in east Africa, as well as in conflict-hit South Sudan.”

Mary’s Meals feeds children in 19 of the world’s poorest countries, with approaches also agreed for India and Haiti as discussions continue.

A report published last week by the United Nations suggested around 265 million people are forecast to be facing acute food insecurity by the end of this year – double the estimate of those suffering severe food shortages in 2019.

Mr Adams said: “At a time when people in the UK are also facing many challenges, we are so grateful for everything our supporters are doing to ensure the children we feed can grow up strong and healthy.

“It is thanks to their kindness and generosity that this mission can continue, even amidst the most uncertain of times.”

PA