Local charity Mary's Meals is looking for volunteers
Locals in Stirlingshire are being asked to help Mary's Meals feed some of the world's poorest children by gifting their time.
The charity reaches more than 2.2 million hungry children with a daily meal in school around the world, including in six countries affected by brutal conflict, such as Ethiopia, South Sudan and Yemen.
With many people in the UK affected by the cost of living crisis, the charity is highlighting that residents in Stirlingshire can choose to donate their time as one of the ways of supporting Mary's Meals.
Through the serving of a meal in a place of education, Mary's Meals brings hope to extremely vulnerable children, helping them to learn and providing respite from the increasingly turbulent world outside the classroom.
Its work is only possible because of many dedicated volunteers across the globe – from the people in the UK who help to raise awareness, to those in the countries where Mary's Meals are served, who rise early to cook the nutritious food for children.
As part of National Volunteers' Week, which takes place between 1-7 June every year, the charity is calling on people in Stirlingshire to join its family of volunteers to help make a difference.
There are many ways to volunteer with Mary's Meals across the UK, such as raising awareness by giving talks in local communities, distributing promotional materials, or helping with bucket collections and organising fundraising events. Training is provided for all volunteers.
Morven McGillivray, supporter engagement manager at Mary's Meals, said: "We know that many people who would like to donate to Mary's Meals may find that difficult to do this year with the cost of living crisis. It costs just 8 pence for us to provide a meal to a hungry child, so even the smallest of donations can make a huge difference.
"Volunteering is a wonderful way to get involved in our work. Every single thing that people do for our mission makes an enormous difference to the children who eat Mary's Meals, allowing them to gain an education and look to a much brighter future."
It costs just £15.90 to feed a child with Mary's Meals for an entire school year.
Mary's Meals is giving hope to children like 10-year-old Thomas who was forced to flee from his home in South Sudan when it came under attack by soldiers. His father died trying to defend his family and community.
When Thomas and his four siblings eventually stopped running, they attended a makeshift school deep in the jungle. When Mary's Meals arrived at the school, Thomas was filled with hope. He says: "Now all of us get food in school and we are so happy. My mother is happy too. One day I will get a good job and take care of my mother, who is always working too hard to care for us."
For 20 years, Mary's Meals has been able to reach children in the world's poorest and most difficult locations because of the kindness and relentless hope of its supporters.
Today, the charity faces some of its greatest challenges yet in a world devastated by conflict, food insecurity and the cost of living crisis. With Mary's Meals, Hope Conquers Fear – even in the most difficult of times.
For more information about volunteering with Mary's Meals please visit marysmeals.org.uk/volunteer