McKinney North High School students wanted to find a unique way to raise local awareness of world hunger. Members of the school’s student council selected International World Porridge Day, to be held on Monday, October 10 as the perfect day to try out a creative way of bringing awareness of the hunger issue to their fellow students. In partnership with the district’s food services department, the school will be offering porridge at lunch to all students, and students will be given the opportunity to sit on the floor rather than at their traditional tables and chairs. During each lunch period a video providing more information about International World Porridge Day and the world hunger crisis will be shown to the students.
The idea came from Student Council President Abigail Gibney, whose father is Scottish and happens to be friends with Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the co-founder of a non-profit organization called Mary’s Meals. Mary’s Meals was created in 1992 by brothers Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow, after watching TV coverage of the Bosnian conflict and being moved to find a way to help those less fortunate. They decided to start an organization seeking food and blankets and began convoys leaving the UK and delivering the aid to Bosnia. Mary’s Meals has now spread to countries throughout the world and now provides meals for over 500,000 children in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. The organization’s website www.marysmeals.org explains that the organization is named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, who brought up her child in poverty.
“Our primary goal is raise awareness,” said student organizer Abigail Gibney. “We may be the only students sitting on the floor eating porridge, but we feel like the response will be good and we’re hoping staff and students will join in.”
The campus is in full support of the hunger awareness project and while a few tables and chairs will be available, the majority of them will be removed. The students will have access to other food items for lunch, but Gladney and her student council friends are hoping that the simple act of eating oatmeal and sitting on the floor for a lunch period will not only remind students of how fortunate they are, but of the challenges many children and families face across the globe.
The Mary’s Meals project at McKinney North High School will take place on Monday, October 10, 2011 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Media is welcome to attend the event.