Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow in Medjugorje

Feeding Children is our Greatest Joy

“We also believe in the dream that there is enough for everyone when our thinking is changed.”

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Adelinde and Manfred Schitter have been committed to Mary's Meals since 2011. In teamwork, they produce usable items from textiles and give them as a gift when someone makes a donation to provide a nutritious meal from Mary's Meals to a child.

Thanks to the commitment of the couple from Bruck an der Mur, children from an entire school can be provided with Mary's Meals every year. In an interview with Klara Heidlberger they share their personal experiences.

Adelinde and Manfred Schitter

Why do you support Mary's Meals?

Feeding the children is our greatest joy. We also believe in the dream that there is enough for everyone when our thinking is changed. We are happy to give away time and talent when it satisfies the hunger of a child. Mary's Meals has become a meaningful purpose in our life for us.


Why are the hungry children so important to you?

We were both refugee children after World War II. Need, hunger and privation of all kinds were not unknown to us. How painful it was for my mother when the locals told her: "We don't have enough for our own people!" In those days there was no help for refugees. It was always a fight for survival, but it was always just enough.


How did you get involved with Mary's Meals?

It all began for us with a simple little prayer card from Mary's Meals, which fell into our hands in Medjugorje, the starting point of Mary's Meals: " Our Father, give us this day our daily bread and forgive us for the times when we take more than our share of the bread that belongs to all. Let us help You fill the starving with good things, not with scraps from our table. Teach us how to share what is not ours to keep. Clothe us with Your love that we may complete each good work You created us to do. Place in our hearts Your compassion for each starving child and use our little acts of love so that they starve no more. Amen."

We were touched in a strange way. My husband and I both felt that every line meant us! Then we prayed about it and the desire to help was awakened in us. But we did not know how to approach it. When we arrived home, our eyes fell on two pages of the daily newspaper: a report about the harmfulness of plastic bags. That was the answer for us! I owned a lot of textiles and, with Manfred's help, began to sew shopping bags. We enthusiastically told our friends and acquaintances about the simple idea of Mary's Meals, to feed children in the poorest regions of the world at school and in this way give them education. Every person who was willing to feed a child for a year (at that time 10 €) received a bag as a gift from us. In this way we were able to convince many people to support Mary's Meals within a short time.

When we were able to transfer 3000 Euros for Mary's Meals for the first time, we thought: Look, there is a blessing in this, we will continue. Over the years we have received textiles and sewing material in abundance. It is still a joy for me to make something out of these fabrics. Often, I really feel the blessing. After all these years we are still sewing and designing with great enthusiasm, and there is always a new need for bags, purses, aprons... Recently, face masks have been in great demand.

Mary's Meals face masks

What else would you like to tell the readers?

When everyone does what they can - in a variety of ways - and offers the little they have, then the blessing becomes tangible.


Support Mary's Meals

Similar to Adelinde and Manfred, many people in Austria are using their talents and skills to contribute to Mary's Meals' worldwide vision of providing each child with a daily nutritious meal at the place of their education. Because food and education give hope.

There are many ways to support Mary's Meals. Tell friends about Mary's Meals. Organize movie nights at home or in your community to present "Child 31" or "Generation Hope". We would be happy to support you. There are countless ways to help Mary's Meals: Organise a fitness run or bake cakes and use the proceeds to provide meals for children are just a few of them. Some supporters organize concerts or football tournaments; they sew colorful bags with scraps of fabric or paint for Mary's Meals to feed children. Some volunteers help to implement the Rucksack project.

It is a great gift when you pray for Mary's Meals so that another child can be reached with Mary's meals.

Some people consider Mary's Meals in their heritage. They wish that a school kitchen would one day be able to be named after them.

Please contact us if you want to do something for Mary’s Meals.