133 Years Of Feeding The Poor: Celtic FC Foundation Donates £100K To Mary’s Meals ’67 Kitchens

2017 was a huge year for Celtic. It saw the club celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European Cup triumph and create new history with an Invincible Treble. In addition, the Celtic FC Foundation used the landmark to honour the club’s roots by launching a Lions’ Legacy fundraising campaign. As part of that campaign, the club undertook a joint venture with Mary’s Meals to build 67 kitchens in Africa – 47 in Malawi and 20 in Zambia.

The 67 Kitchens are now fully operational and located within school grounds; schools which have almost 45,000 pupils enrolled.

Meals offered by the kitchens solve a short term problem. However, much like Brother Walfrid and his confrere Brother Dorotheus did when they launched the Penny Dinner Scheme back in the late 1800s, the campaign aims to build on the daily meal provided, by encouraging school attendance, which in turn allows children to receive an education that is such a vital part of climbing out of poverty for the long term.

Having already invested £356,500, Celtic FC Foundation are now delighted to announce that a balance of £100,000 has been donated to Mary’s Meals, to help contribute towards the feeding and maintenance costs of these kitchens.

This has been raised largely by CSCs and individual supporters through sponsorship of the 67 Kitchens and the Foundation expressed their gratitude for this magnificent contribution.

This phenomenal effort will ensure that each of these Kitchens continues to provide much needed meals to hungry children across Malawi and Zambia, every school day.

Speaking of the donation, Celtic FC Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell said: “We are absolutely thrilled to provide further support to one of our long standing charity partners in Mary’s Meals, through this wonderful £100,000 donation.

“The Celtic support have, as they always do, got behind this initiative in a tremendous way and their efforts will help ensure that these Kitchens will continue to prosper and improve the lives of some the world’s most impoverished children.

“I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has been involved in making this project such an enormous success over these past three years.”

Meanwhile, Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton added: “Celtic FC Foundation are delighted to make this additional contribution towards the 67 Kitchens project. Thousands of children are now being fed at school, which is such an integral and crucial element of the Lions’ Legacy. We must express our gratitude to Mary’s Meals for all of their efforts throughout this wonderful partnership.

“The backing we have received from our supporters, as always, has been truly incredible and, thanks to their endeavours, we can assist Mary’s Meals in sustaining the feeding and maintenance of these kitchens. A huge thank you to all of the supporters’ clubs and individuals who have generously sponsored a Kitchen. And great thanks too to our dear friend, Scottish artist Gerard Burns, for his ongoing support in this and other Celtic FC Foundation initiatives.”

A spokesman from Mary’s Meals also thanked the Celtic FC Foundation and Celtic faithful. He said: “The unmatched kindness of Celtic supporters across the globe is a legacy that will transform the lives of children in some of the world’s poorest communities for generations to come. Thank you!”

The Celtic FC Foundation have outlined the following information on their website and would be grateful for any support.

“Celtic FC Foundation’s current focus is on the ongoing Football for Good Fund, which is providing food and essentials to those most in need within our communities.

Since the launch of the Football for Good Fund and throughout the coming months, the Foundation have ensured and will continue to ensure food parcels, basic necessities, hot meals and other critical interventions are available to the growing number of people affected by the ruthlessness of COVID-19.

But we can’t do it alone.

To find out more about the Football for Good Fund and how you can get involved, please visit www.footballforgoodfund.com

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic as a young child during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. At the age of 19, I published my first Celtic book (Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support). Then, last year, I published my second book (Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events), which is sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores.

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