Emergency relief

The main focus of Mary’s Meals is our school feeding programmes but we also have a long history of providing emergency relief to vulnerable regions around the world.

Responding to Emergency Situations

Mary’s Meals grew out of a response to the Bosnian conflict in the early 1990s. Since then we have been involved in emergency relief work in countries including Myanmar, Haiti, India, Kenya and Thailand.

At the heart of any emergency relief work we undertake, is always our principle of feeding vulnerable children in a place of education. In many cases, we have been able to extend our support to reach wider communities.

Mary’s Meals has strong relationships with partners operating throughout the world. Should an emergency situation arise in an area where we have a trusted local partner, we will work together in order to reach those suffering most.

In general, we remain open to assisting wherever there is great need and we’re able to mount an effective response.

Past Emergency Relief Work


In January 2010, an earthquake ripped through Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, wrecking the schools in Cité Soleil where we provide Mary’s Meals to thousands of children living in terrible poverty. Our supporters were extraordinarily generous, allowing us to channel emergency food and medical supplies through our partners within days of the earthquake.


In 2011 we joined forces with our long standing friends in Malawi and South African charity, Gift of the Givers, to deliver as much emergency food aid as possible to help keep more than 40,000 starving people in Somalia alive.

Kenya and South Sudan

In 2014, Mary’s Meals responded to the East Africa crisis, where 10.7 million people were affected by severe food shortages. In addition to our ongoing work in this region, we provided emergency school feeding to areas of particular need in Kenya and South Sudan.


In 2011 we provided food, material and financial aid to the Mary’s Meals volunteers and their families who lost their homes due to a typhoon.


In 2013, we provided material aid to those affected by the devastating floods and landslides. In 2004, we launched an emergency appeal after India was hit by a tsunami that washed away homes and fishing boats, leaving families without the means to support themselves. The appeal raised funds to help a fishing community in Tamil Nadu, initially providing food and shelter, and then support to rebuild homes and purchase new boats.