IT may stun you to learn this, but it can cost just £15.90 to feed a child for one year in some of the poorest parts of the world.
Armagh-based members of a charity have made a plea to Ulster Gazette readers who have found that, due to pandemic restrictions, they have saved a little on hairdressing bills, buying clothes, cosmetics, on eating out and on entertainment.
Some of you have been able to treat your families to the odd takeaway too.
Mary’s Meals began in 1992 with the aim of feeding children in their place of education thereby encouraging parents to send their child to school. One of their mottos is “School + Food =Hope.”
Mary Vallely from the charity explained, “Here in Armagh the Mary’s Meals Backpack Project operates from the old clinic in Dobbin Street.
“We fill backpacks with school supplies, items of clothing and toiletries and we also take on the responsibility to feed a particular school in Malawi.
“We are closed temporarily due to Covid-19 but having heard of the huge administrative and financial difficulties in countries like Malawi, Syria, Haiti and the other 16 countries in which Mary’s Meals operates, where schools are also closed, we realised the added problems in getting food to those children. This campaign was set up with the aim of feeding 1000 children.
“So far we are half way towards our target thanks to the generosity of our local supporters and our followers on Facebook. However, many readers do not use Facebook which is why we thought we would reach out to Gazette readers.”
You can help the charity by donating, either online through the Mary's Meals Armagh and Benburb group Facebook page (which Mary says is very simple and secure) or by sending a cheque to Pauline McCormick 36 Lisbofin Road, Dungannon BT71 7JQ or to Róisín McVeigh, 14 Glen Court, Desart Lane, Armagh, BT61 8SA. Cheques should be made payable to Mary’s Meals.
Mary says that one of the positives that has come out of this very surreal and frankly daunting time is the many little acts of kindness shown by the Armagh community.
“Nothing beats that feeling of reaching out to another human being, especially to a child,” she added.
“As one child in Haiti where disease is rife and hope is limited, said recently, 'food makes it better'. £15.90 will make a child feel better. It is such a small price to pay for hope.”
For further information about Mary's Meals visit www.marysmeals.org.uk