Graham Celebrates World Porridge Day

  • Graham Simpson marked World Porridge Day with a smile and a mug of porridge. 

  • Mary’s Meals serve a daily meal of porridge to children in Malawi, Zambia and Liberia. 

  • The charity, which was founded in a shed in Argyll, feeds more than 1.5 million children every school day in 18 countries around the world.  

Graham Simpson celebrated World Porridge Day (Thursday, 10 October) with a delicious mug of porridge from Mary’s Meals. 

The charity, which feeds more than 1.5 million children around the world every school day, is also asking constituents in Central Scotland to share their #PorridgeSmiles to help raise awareness of its life-changing work.  

Graham Simpson, MSP for Central Scotland said: “Mary’s Meals is a wonderful charity, founded here in Scotland, that feeds more than 1.5 million children around the world every school day. I am proud to be supporting its life-changing work with my Porridge Smile.” 

Karen Gray, UK Director of Communications and Fundraising at Mary’s Meals, said: “We celebrate World Porridge Day because it is a mug of vitamin enriched maize porridge that Mary’s Meals serves to thousands of children every school day in countries including Malawi, Zambia and Liberia.  

“I hope that people in Central Scotland will share their #PorridgeSmiles today too and help us to reach even more hungry children around the world.”  

Mary’s Meals sets up school feeding programmes in some of the world’s poorest countries. The food attracts children into the classroom, where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.   

Martha, eight, from Malawi receives porridge from Mary’s Meals in school each day, and loves playing netball with her friends. She said: “School is important because it teaches me how to read. Porridge helps me concentrate. I’m able to pass my exams because I’m not hungry in class”. 

Mary’s Meals supporters across the UK are marking World Porridge Day by sharing their #PorridgeSmiles on social media and throwing Porridge Parties to raise funds for the charity. Mary’s Meals has also published a collection of porridge recipes from celebrities and chefs on its website – with Joanna Lumley, Tom Kitchin and Melissa Hemsley all taking part. 

To share your #PorridgeSmiles simply post a photo of yourself on 10 October smiling with your porridge bowl on social media using #PorridgeSmiles and tagging @marysmeals.  

About World Porridge Day 

  • World Porridge Day is a trademark gifted to Mary’s Meals by The Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championships and takes place on 10 October each year.  

  • The campaign helps raise awareness of the difference a daily mug of porridge makes to the lives of hungry children.  

  • Porridge is vital to thousands of children fed by Mary’s Meals in countries including Malawi, Zambia and Liberia, where mugs of vitamin enriched maize porridge are served every school day. 

About Mary’s Meals 

  • Mary’s Meals feeds 1,504,471 children every school day in 18 countries: Malawi, Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Kenya, India, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Benin, Lebanon, Syria, Myanmar, Thailand, Ecuador, Madagascar and Romania. 

  • The average global cost to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year is just £13.90.  

  • Independently verified research from Malawi, Liberia and Zambia shows that in schools where children receive Mary’s Meals, hunger is reduced, enrolment increases, attendance improves, drop-out rates fall, absences dwindle, concentration in lessons is heightened, attainment levels increase, parents are less anxious, and children are happier.  

  • The Mary’s Meals campaign was born in 2002 when Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow visited Malawi during a famine and met a mother dying from AIDS. When Magnus asked her eldest son, Edward, what his dreams were in life, he replied simply: “I want to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.”  

  • Mary’s Meals is committed to spending at least 93% of donations directly on its charitable activities. This is only possible because much of the charity’s work is done by an army of dedicated volunteers. 

  • To find out more about the work of Mary’s Meals please visit marysmeals.org.uk