As an organisation Mary's Meals provides over 1 million children with a meal every school day and 500,000 school backpacks have been distributed (www.marysmeals.org.uk) and here along the Shore and in Dunoon we have actively contributed to those achievements. For 2 years we have raised enough money to feed 100 children (or more!) a year and over 12 months we collected over 100 backpacks. Our target this year is £1390 so that we can continue to feed 100 children and more backpacks as we work towards a total of 200! Our 1st event was an interesting and well supported ‘Meet the Author’ evening at the Library in Dunoon with Ann McClintock who's book, illustrated by another local person Elizabeth Bruce, is being sold for Mary's Meals. This will be followed by an Afternoon Tea at Dunoon Catholic Church Centre on 19th May, 2.30 – 4.30 pm with the local Parkinson's Support Group who will have a bottle Tombola in aid of Parkinson's Research. There will be various stalls and in the past we've had live music. Our annual event at Kilmun Hall will be on Sunday 7th October, and we hope to collect more backpacks with the help of Santa again this year.
Thankyou to everyone for your ongoing support and help - it's truly a community effort.
Mary's Meals update (April 17th 2020)
In the same way that schools here in Scotland are closed, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in school closures around the world, meaning that the children being fed by Mary's Meals are being temporarily denied their education. However, where possible the children will not also be denied their daily serving of Mary’s Meals especially as sometimes this is the only food they receive.
Urgent discussions with community leaders and governments are taking place to identify new ways to reach hungry children and a new approach has already been agreed for Turkana in Kenya, where tens of thousands of children are being provided with nutritious food at home until it is possible for them to return to the classroom.
Alongside this Mary's Meals has recently started feeding children in a new country – Niger, one of the poorest in Africa.
Through this global crisis, Mary's Meals is committed to finding new ways to support children who rely on Mary’s Meals. To do this, they need our support more than ever.
There are ideas on the Mary's Meals web-site, from turning your daily exercise into a fundraiser and asking for sponsorship; streaming lessons online in return for a donation to Mary's Meals; donating unwanted items to one of the shops or Rags to Riches project, when it is safe to do so; sending a Mary's Meals gift card to a friend; or collecting your change in a mug decorated using the on-line colouring kit, for more information visit the web-site marysmeals.org.uk
I once worked out how many miles it was to walk from the office at Dalmally to every Mary's Meals shop and back as 360 miles (approximately - don't hold me to this!!) and I will endeavour to use my daily exercise to achieve this, hopefully by August. You can sponsor me or donate, by visiting marysmeals.org.uk/donate, click on 'start fundraising', then 'search for a friends' and then put in 'Beverley Soltysiak' and this will take you to the '100 Meals Challenge - Year 5' site.
It now costs £15.90 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year and each meal costs just 8p, so even small gifts make a big difference. Locally, as many of you know, we try to raise enough to feed 100 children a year and regularly send backpacks to Malawi. This year it will be harder, but I am sure we will get there!! And remember if you are sorting out at home, good second hand sandals, backpacks, clothing, pencil cases and contents can be put in the backpacks (visit the web-site for the full list) and we will send more as soon as we can. I can be contacted via the Kilmun Hall web-site contact page where my weekly walking progress will be recorded!!
Beverley Soltysiak, Mary's Meals Community Ambassador.