Media Release: City schools ‘step up to the plate’ to supply 250,000 meals to Africa

THOUSANDS of school children across Glasgow will help tackle global poverty later this week (Thursday 19 and Friday 20 May) by ordering lunch from their school Fuel Zones and taking part in the ‘Step Up to the Plate’ initiative.

The project, formed in partnership between Cordia, who manage the catering facilities in all 204 of Glasgow’s schools, and charity Mary’s Meals, aims to provide over 250,000 meals for children in Malawi.

For every school meal purchased in one of Glasgow’s Fuel Zone’s during the two-day initiative, Cordia will pay for five Mary’s Meals which will help feed children across the African country.

The landlocked nation in the South East of Africa is one the world’s poorest countries, with an estimated 53% of the total population living below the poverty line.

Mary’s Meals began in Malawi in 2002 by feeding 200 children at one school – support from around the world now allows it to provide over 450,000 meals to impoverished Malawian school children on a daily basis.

Says a spokesperson: “It costs just £6.15 for Mary’s Meals to feed a school child in Malawi for a whole school year – very often it is the only meal they will receive that day.

“Last week, the charity was presented with The Loving Cup,one of the city’s highest accolades, honouring good work and service to the city of Glasgow.”

Fergus Chambers, managing director of Cordia, said: “We are proud to do all we can to help Mary’s Meals provide much needed meals to the young people of Malawi.

“As acknowledged through the various healthy eating initiatives developed in Scotland and across the UK, good nutrition is essential to supporting a child’s growth and development, in addition to improving performance in the classroom.

“The Step Up to the Plate initiative aims to not only help school children in Malawi, but also raise awareness among Glasgow’s young people about the plight of some of the world’s poorest countries.

“I look forward to the two-day event later this week and seeing thousands of pupils across Glasgow stepping up to the plate to support their counterparts in Africa.”

Mary’s Meals currently provides over 526,000 meals to children in places of education in 16 different countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.

Founder and chief executive of Mary’s Meals, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow‎, said: “By partnering with Cordia, we hope to raise awareness of the daily challenges faced by many of the world’s poorest children and give Glasgow pupils the opportunity to make a real difference.

“We are aware many schools already use Mary’s Meals and our school resources as a context for learning and for helping to develop so many well informed and confident Global Citizens.

“Mary’s Meals is a simple concept – it is not only feeding children, but it is also allowing children to attend school and be educated which can set them free from poverty in later life.”

Cordia make and serve over 50,000 school meals in the city’s 175 primary schools and 29 secondary schools every day.

For more information on the project visit


Issued by The BIG Partnership, on behalf of Cordia

Contact Tim Malseed on 0141 333 9585 or 07756 079430 or Alex Hamilton   on 0141 333 9585 or 07812 138701       

Notes to editors

In April 2009 Cordia, a limited liability partnership (LLP) created by Glasgow City Council, took over the work of the former Direct and Care Services (DACS) department.

The new company, the latest and, by some way, the largest of the council’s arm’s length external organisations (ALEO), has a staff of almost 9,000.

The services Cordia provides include: Home care support to 8,600 of Glasgow’s most vulnerable citizens; School meals for pupils in over 300 city schools; school crossing patrols throughout the city; janitorial services in schools and other public buildings; cleaning for all the city’s public buildings; catering in Glasgow’s museums and leisure centres, and for banqueting events and weddings on council property; home care equipment supply to health services and a number of other West of Scotland councils via the EQUIPU Centre.

Marys Meals

Mary’s Meals is an international movement to set up school feeding projects in communities where hunger and poverty stop children from gaining an education. It is a simple idea – one meal given every day to an impoverished child at school.

Today, Mary’s Meals is providing over 526,000 children with a daily meal in their place of education in 16 different countries throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

For further information, please contact: Kim Webster – Mary’s Meals, head of Communications and Media on 01838 200605

MEDIA RELEASE posted by The BIG Partnership. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Tim Malseed
Phone: 0141 333 9585
Website: http://www.