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Volunteers get ready for Mary’s Meals walk to help feed children in world’s poorest countries

Some of the local volunteers who took part in last year's walk

Walkers from counties Tyrone and Armagh will be among more than 200 people stepping out this summer to raise funds to feed hungry children.

The annual ‘Step by Step to Feed the Next Child’ walk, organised by the charity Mary’s Meals, begins this Saturday, July 24 and will run in various stages until August 21.

Participants usually take part in a local leg of the journey to Knock, Co Mayo, with starting points including Dungannon, Moy,  Coalisland,  Portadown, Lurgan and Newry.

This year, walkers unable to join a group walk also have the option to complete one closer to home.

Mary’s Meals has a centre in Armagh city and a very active Armagh and Benburb group of volunteers.

Roisin McVeigh, community volunteer with the group, said: “Every year, walkers lace up their boots and spread the word about Mary’s Meals. It’s a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air, meet new people and raise funds and awareness for a great cause.”

Last year, volunteers from Armagh and Benburb, Coalisland, Belfast, Newtownabbey, Beragh, Omagh and Fermanagh raised more than £31,000 – enough to feed 2,000 children with Mary’s Meals for an entire school year.

Mary’s Meals serves nutritious meals in schools in 19 of the world’s poorest countries, helping them gain an education that will one day be their ladder out of poverty.

With some schools across the globe still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the charity continues to work with governments and local communities to distribute food parcels to those children learning from home enabling them to receive their daily meal.

Emma Hutton, head of grassroots engagement at Mary’s Meals, said: “We are so thankful to everyone taking part in the Step by Step Walk this year, which will help us give more hungry children the gift of food, joy and hope.

“It costs just £15.90 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for an entire school year.”

To find out more about local Mary’s Meals walks in your area visit Step by Step to Feed the Next Child on Facebook or contact your local Mary’s Meals contact by phone 07394564065 or email

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