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Mary’s Meals founder warns against acceptance of hunger

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and Global CEO of Mary’s Meals, has warned against the ‘acceptance of hunger’ at this year’s St Andrew’s Foundation for Catholic Teacher Education Cardinal Winning lecture.

MacFarlane-Barrow stated that ‘Archbishop Leo described Mary as the Mother of Mercy this morning’ and that this belief inspired the naming of the charity.

The lecture, which was preceded by a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Leo Cushley, centred on the foundation of the charity and the importance of education.

“The key to lifting the poorest communities out of poverty is education,” MacFarlane-Barrow said.

“Hunger is caused because of poverty, but it also becomes the cause of poverty.”

Mr MacFarlane-Barrow stated that since the founding of Mary’s Meals in 1992, then known as Scottish international Relief, the charity has demonstrated that its work is effective.

However, he is concerned that the problem of international food deprivation is now worsening.

“There seems to be this idea that this is something we need to accept. But it absolutely isn’t. As Mary’s Meals grows and as we show it works, we feel more and more we want to challenge the world to ask the question: why?

“Why would there be 60 million children out of school today in this world of plenty? The international community agreed to sustainable development goals that we should all be striving for by 2030; the second one is zero hunger. The first one is no poverty.

“Obviously they are intrinsically linked. I worry sometimes that there’s almost this acceptance of chronic hunger in this world where we grow more than enough food for all of us. Especially in these days when we are, understandably, so distracted by the pandemic and climate change.”

MacFarlane-Barrow also noted that amongst this acceptance, 11 people worldwide still die of hunger-related causes every minute. He stressed that ‘the key to lifting the poorest communities out of poverty is education’ and that ‘young people lead the growth of Mary’s Meals in a very particular way’.

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