International school feeding charity, Mary’s Meals, announces the launch of its Pray in May campaign and is calling on churches and individuals to support its mission in prayer during the month of May.
Supporters of the charity across the world are rallying faith communities to pray for the work of Mary’s Meals in May– which provides chronically hungry children with the simple gift of a daily meal while they learn – and the charity hopes to engage new audiences and spread the word further this year as the Pray in May campaign runs for a second year.
Catholic communities are encouraged to include a bidding prayer for Mary’s Meals at Mass, pray the Rosary for its work, host a Holy Hour or ask parish prayer groups to organise a time of prayer for Mary’s Meals.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Founder of Mary’s Meals, says: “Prayer came first in the story of Mary’s Meals, and for many of us, that remains the case on a daily basis. We pray knowing that this mission depends entirely on God’s grace and providence, and so we need to stay joined to Him. Prayer is part of the daily fabric of Mary’s Meals – something we wish to make space for and encourage in this diverse global family of ours.
“The month of May has for many centuries been dedicated to Mary the mother of Jesus, who is of course the patron of this mission.”
Faith is central to Mary’s Meals and its work to serve daily nutritious meals to the world’s poorest children. Named in honour of Mary the mother of Jesus who raised her own child in poverty, the charity’s work is built on the power of prayer and its people continually see the providence of God. The charity has strong roots in the pilgrimage town of Medjugorje and is often called ‘a fruit of Medjugorje’.
For 20 years, Mary’s Meals has been bringing hope to the world’s hungriest children in the form of daily nutritious meals in their place of education. It has served more than one billion meals since its inception. Today, 2,279,941 children in 20 countries make the journey to school, safe in the knowledge that they will receive one meal each day, served by the organisation’s army of volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to run the school feeding programme. For many, Mary’s Meals may be their only meal of the day.
The provision of a daily meal in school not only has a powerful impact on the children served but on the school and local communities where the meals are distributed. The charity's recent findings show that, for example, in schools in Zambia where Mary’s Meals are served, 98% of headteachers reported an increase in attendance since the introduction of school feeding programme in their schools. In Malawi in October 2021, when take home rations reverted back to in-school feeding as schools reopened following the Covid-19 pandemic, 92% of children reported that they rarely or never worried about going hungry when Mary’s Meals returned to schools. In the same period, 93% of households said that school meals were an important factor in their decision to send children back to school as they reopened.
To find out more about Pray in May, please visit https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/get-involved/churches-and-prayers/pray-in-may