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25 Jan 2022

Former Tullamore businessman now helping feed poorest children

Paul Galvin (extreme right), pictured with Mary’s Meals supporters on the Step by Step to Feed the next Child fundraiser through Offaly, where some walked over 200km in aid of the charity

Paul Galvin (extreme right), pictured with Mary’s Meals supporters on the Step by Step to Feed the next Child fundraiser through Offaly, where some walked over 200km in aid of the charity

FORMER Tullamore retailer Paul Galvin is the man behind an ambitious new fundraiser which aims to build on a landmark achievement by an international school feeding charity.

Mary’s Meals now serves over two million children in 19 of the world’s poorest countries every day.

Mary’s Meals Ireland are celebrating this achievement by asking Irish supporters to raise enough funds to feed the entire two million children for a day. It costs just 9c on average to feed a child a nutritious school meal, in some of the poorest communities in the world. This amounts to just €18.30 for an entire school year.

The local branch of Mary's Meals is spearheaded by Paul Galvin, formerly of Galvin Tullamore, who describes the joy of everyone involved as contagious.

“It’s simple,” he said, “we don’t just want your two cents worth – we want your nine cents! If every person in Offaly gave just nine cents, we could provide a nutritious school meal for 77,961 children!”

The campaign runs from September 8 to October 31 2021 and full details can be found on the website www.marysmeals.ie
There are many ways to get involved - from sponsored walks to scrap metal collections, and everything in between, the ingenious supporters of Mary’s Meals have come up with hundreds of ways to get to this extraordinary milestone. With such a small amount having such a large impact, it is a great cause for schools, families and businesses to get behind.

The charity had humble beginnings to say the least: a one-off good deed from a shed in the Highlands of Scotland eventually led to a small school feeding programme in Malawi, aiming to bring vital meals to around 200 children.

Now more than 30% of the primary school population of Malawi enjoys the nutritious meals, served in schools by local volunteers to help the next generation build a brighter future. The Offaly group was founded in 2019 and has been supporting Libuda Primary School in Malawi since then.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and CEO of Mary’s Meals, said: “Today we celebrate an amazing moment in the Mary’s Meals story. Today, two million children ate Mary’s Meals in a place of education. When we set out on this path, nearly 30 years ago, we were overwhelmed by people’s goodness in donating – and that’s been the story ever since. I thank you with all my heart on behalf of each of those children”.

Mary’s Meals not only feeds huge numbers of children attending government-run schools in Africa, but those in prison awaiting trial in Niger and Madagascar, plus children children in India, Thailand, Syria, Lebanon and Haiti.

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