Mary's Meals is a registered charity founded here in Scotland that provides one good meal every school day for some of the world's poorest children, in 12 countries across the world
Mary's Meals is run in a very efficient and ethical way, with volunteers helping to keep running costs and expenses low. For every £1 donated, a massive 93p is spent directly on their charitable activities
From humble beginnings, Mary's Meals has grown into an organisation that now feeds over 1,230,000 children every school day (April 2017) and, with your help, we'd like to help keep that number growing
In fact, we think we can provide thousands more meals for hungry children every month
Here's how . . .
from 1st January 2017, every 5kg of Couture sold has provided a meal for a child
. . . it seems quite a bold claim to make, but the idea is simple. By feeding children in a place of education, Mary's Meals attracts children from chronically poor families into schools. The nutritious daily meals fill their empty bellies while also giving them the energy and opportunity to learn
Education provides the chance of a brighter future and families struggling to feed their children are happy that the children (who would otherwise work from a very early age) can attend school
The benefits of providing children with an education are obvious and well-documented: some may go on to further education to become doctors and teachers but, crucially, all children learn basic literacy, numeracy and other skills which will directly benefit them and their communities
We wanted to help, but what exactly could we do?
It costs £13.90 to feed a child for a full school year and there's virtually nothing we sell which has £13.90 of available profit to donate, but then we found inspiration in the most unusual place . . . our favourite Indian restaurant !
Mr Singh's India is one of Glasgow's best (we think the best) Indian restaurants and over the past 3 years some of us have become very regular customers, so-much-so that we consider the Singh family as friends. On a recent visit we were intrigued by a sign that said that every curry sold would feed a child so after our meal we found out more from Mark Singh about Sikh beliefs regarding charity and their involvement with Mary's Meals
Sikhs serve God by serving other people every day - known as Seva or Sewa. Sikh temples (Gurdawara) provide free food through the Langar - a free food kitchen serving the local community and open to people of all faiths, or of none
The Singh family have taken the idea a step further by using the curries sold through their restaurants and their ready-made curries sold through Costco as a way of raising funds to feed those less fortunate far beyond the local community
Because the length of a 'school year' varies in each of the 12 countries where the charity works, Mary's Meals has calculated the average amount required to feed one child each school day - a figure that made it possible for Mr Singh's to donate one meal for every curry sold
We were inspired by the project so, working with Mary's Meals and using the same figure that enables Mr Singh's India to provide 1 meal for a child for every curry sold, we've put together something pretty exciting . . .
It's not something we like to shout about, but Cake Stuff has a tradition of rolling up our sleeves and getting involved in charity projects . . . we built the Cake Bridge in Malawi, we support Loaves & Fishes and the Salvation Army projects feeding and working with homeless people in Glasgow, Epilepsy Connections, Community Action Nepal, Who Cares Scotland? plus a number of other worthwhile causes - on a regular basis
Working with Mary's Meals has really captured our imagination and we're convinced we can help make a difference, so . . .
from 1st January 2017, every 5kg of Couture sold provides 1 meal for a child
To be absolutely honest, it's not a huge amount of money per box . . . the amount is small enough not to affect the price of Couture to our customers; it's small enough to be sustainable and to ensure this is a longer-term project - but, crucially, it's high enough to provide a nutritious meal for a hungry child. And what makes this idea so exciting is that we sell thousands - literally thousands - of boxes of Couture every month
We are delighted to be working alongside Mary's Meals and are really excited about playing our small part in making a difference in the year ahead
Here's the legal bit: Cake Stuff provides Mary's Meals with monthly sales reports for Couture sugarpaste showing the total weight of Couture sold (all colours and pack sizes), so even if you order a 2.5kg pack it will still be taken into account. We'll donate the agreed amount for the equivalent of each 5kg box sold. A Standing Order is set up to make payments to Mary's Meals each month. Every aspect has been agreed with Mary's Meals and all figures are audited annually by Chartered Accountants
With your help, and without it costing you a single penny more, we hope to be able to provide thousands of meals for hungry children every month
How can you help? That couldn't be simpler . . . by continuing to use one of the best sugarpastes available in the UK and by spreading the word
Remember - every 5kg of Couture sold provides 1 meal for a child
So there it is - they say the best ideas are often the simplest