Mary's Meals founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people

MacFarlane-Barrow set up the charity in 2002 and it expects shortly to provide a million meals to schoolchildren every day

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and chief executive of the hunger charity Mary’s Meals, has been named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

The charity was set up in 2002 after MacFarlane-Barrow visited Malawi and met a mother dying from Aids whose son said his dream was to have enough food to eat and to go to school.

Thirteen years later, the charity, which is named after the mother of Jesus, expects shortly to be providing a million meals to schoolchildren in 12 countries every day.

This year's list, the 12th, includes world leaders such as the US President Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. The actor and campaigner Emma Watson, the reality TV star Kim Kardashian and Tim Cook, chief executive of the technology company Apple, also feature in the list.

Writing in the latest edition of Time about MacFarlane-Barrow, a former salmon farmer from Argyll, Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister, likens him to Scottish missionary heroes such as David Livingstone and Eric Liddell.

Brown says the impact of MacFarlane-Barrow’s work has been breathtaking.

"His work began in Bosnia, but a visit to Malawi, where a child told him his dream was having enough to eat, cemented his mission: to get thousands of girls and boys to come to school by providing a meal," writes Brown.

"This quiet-spoken father of seven won’t rest while there are children to feed and to educate and to give a chance in life."

MacFarlane-Barrow said being named on the US-based magazine’s list was an honour.

"It’s wonderful to be able to accept this honour on behalf of the thousands of people all around the world who together are working to realise the Mary’s Meals vision – that every child should be able to receive at least one meal every day in their place of education," he said.

Nancy Gibbs, managing editor of Time, said: "The Time 100 is a list of the world's most influential men and women, not its most powerful, although those are not mutually exclusive terms. While power is certain, influence is subtle. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year, we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming."

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