First Time Mum star takes on cooking challenge to support Mary’s Meals

A TV star from the First Time Mum series has set herself a culinary challenge in aid of Scottish charity Mary’s Meals.

Ferne McCann said she was astounded to find that it costs the charity just £15.90 to feed a child for a whole school year.

As a result, the TV personality has set herself the culinary task of preparing as many dishes as possible, using ingredients inspired by the food that Mary’s Meals serves, for the same cost.

McCann, who is a keen cook and advocate of healthy food, is filming the cooking challenge for her Instagram channel and also for First Time Mum.

National Television Awards 2021 – London
Ferne McCann said she wants to help the charity (Ian West/PA)

Her plan is to use the challenge to highlight the charity’s efforts.

Mary’s Meals provides around two million children with a nutritious meal every school day in 19 countries including Malawi, Haiti and Ethiopia.

Its mission is to work alongside local communities to attract children into the classroom with a decent meal to help with nutrition and education.

McCann said: “The idea behind the charity’s work is that they provide a meal in school every day and this attracts children to come to the classroom instead of working or begging for food.

“This way, the kids get an education which can help them to escape poverty in the future.

“It’s such a brilliant, simple idea – I love it and I want more people to know about it.

“The tasty meals the children eat vary from egg and noodles, rice and beans to lentil dahl, porridge and wraps.

“So, I’m making some dishes inspired by these just to demonstrate how amazing it is that Mary’s Meals can feed a child for a whole school year for just £15.90.”

A child in Malawi who receives Mary's Meals
A child in Malawi who receives Mary’s Meals (Mary’s Meals/PA)

Emma Hutton, head of grassroots engagement at Mary’s Meals, said: “Ferne’s enthusiasm for our work is wonderful to see and mirrors that of our incredible supporters and volunteers who are drawn to Mary’s Meals because of our simple focus and low-cost approach.

“Like Ferne, many people are amazed that a donation of just £15.90 can feed a child for a whole school year and we are hugely grateful to her for spreading the word about what we do.

“Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, which have hit some of the world’s poorest countries very hard, Mary’s Meals is now feeding more than two million children around the world.

“We hope Ferne’s cooking challenge will enthuse many more people to support our work.”