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Global charity Mary’s Meals expands school-feeding program to Mozambique

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Children pose in front of their classroom in Mozambique in this undated photo. Mary’s Meals, a global charity organisation committed to ending child hunger, has expanded its school feeding program to the southern African country, which is reeling from an El Niño-induced drought and devastating floods that continue to plunge millions of people across Southern Africa into extreme hunger. (OSV News photo/courtesy Mary’s Meals)

Mary’s Meals, a global charity organisation committed to ending child hunger, has expanded its school feeding program to the southern African country of Mozambique — a place reeling from a climate change-induced drought and devastating floods that continue to plunge millions of people across southern Africa into extreme hunger.

The charity currently serves 2.4 million children worldwide by providing daily school meals in regions where various factors hinder access to education, including hunger, conflict, and weather-related disasters.

Over 1.5 million children already benefit from Mary’s Meals in Mozambique’s neighbouring countries, such as Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, each of which has declared a state of emergency due to drought.

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The expansion into Mozambique aims to bring vital nutrition to more than 5000 children residing in the Mabalane District of Mozambique’s Gaza province, according to Mary’s Meals Catholic founder and CEO, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow.

“We always want to reach the places where life is most difficult for children, where people are suffering the most,” MacFarlane-Barrow said.

The Mozambique program was launched 20 May across 30 schools as a collaborative effort between Mary’s Meals and the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative, a local nongovernmental organisation.

MacFarlane-Barrow said it will be critical for a country where 38 per cent of children under 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition.

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