BY Daniel Harkins | December 7 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Argyll Catholic success story gets backing from Government

Donations to Mary’s Meals campaign to be doubled by UK aid department

It was started by a Catholic in a shed in Argyll and grew to feed millions of children across the globe—now charity Mary’s Meals has been given a boost by the UK Government as it pledged to double all donations to a new campaign to help school pupils in Zambia.

Named after Our Lady and inspired by a visit to a Marian shrine in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mary’s Meals has caught the imagination of people across the globe thanks to its simple message. By providing meals in school to children, it helps combat hunger and educates children who would otherwise go without.

Having now won Aid Match funding from the Department for International Development, the charity’s Double the Love Campaign—which is being supported by the SCO—will help twice as many people around the world.

Give money to the charity before March 1 and your donation will be doubled by the government.


Campaign launch

The campaign was launched by the charity’s founder and CEO Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow on Monday December 4—with special help from two sets of identical twins: four-year-olds Grace and Flora MacDougall, and eight-year-olds Ed and Ollie Cowdry (above right).

Mary’s Meals feeds more than 1.3 million children every school day. With operations on four continents, the charity has come a long way from the days when it operated out of a shed belonging to the parents of its founder.

Mr MacFarlane-Barrow comes from a devout Catholic family that runs the Craig Lodge House of Prayer in Dalmally.

Bishop Brian McGee of Argyll and the Isles said he first encountered Mary’s Meals about 15 years ago as a parish priest.

“I was very impressed with its vision,” he said.

“Mary’s Meals doesn’t just feed children—which is important in itself—but ensures development by encouraging education. Since becoming bishop of Argyll and the Isles I have met Magnus often and seen how his Faith has inspired this project. I am proud that Mary’s Meals began in and is still run from our diocese.”

Executive director of Mary’s Meals UK, Daniel Adams, said that Catholic grassroots supporters have always been at the heart of the charity.

“We are thankful for the great and long-standing love from those in the Catholic community who make donations, volunteer and pray for our mission,” he said. “Every act of kindness that is carried out on behalf of Mary’s Meals is helping to transform the lives of hungry children in some of the world’s poorest communities.”



Speaking at the launch, Mr MacFarlane-Barrow said: “Our wonderful supporters of all ages never cease to amaze us with their love and kindness. With match funding from the UK government, we have a wonderful opportunity to create an even bigger impact and transform the lives of many, many more hungry children with the gift of food and education.”

Zambia suffers from high rates of malnutrition, poverty and food insecurity.

Children can often be found working in fields, begging on street corners or scavenging for food just to survive. More than 360,000 primary school-age children are out of school, and those who do attend are often so hungry they don’t have the energy to concentrate and learn in class.

Mary’s Meals has been working with communities in Zambia since 2014 and is now feeding more than 92,000 children there.

International development secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Every time the British public reach into their pockets and donate to a UK Aid Match charity their generosity directly changes the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“We are so proud to support Mary’s Meals through UK Aid Match. The ‘Double the Love’ campaign will ensure that Zambian children are given a nutritious school-meal every day. Their vital work not only gets children back into school, but it also means that those children do not go hungry.”


  • For further information on the Double The Love appeal, and to find out how to get involved, visit:


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