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'Little acts of love' feed hungry children

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One kind act changes countless lives
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow started Mary's Meals to ensure a meal a day for children in school
  • He says thousands die every day of hunger-related causes
  • Mary's Meals, based in Scotland, feeds more than 400,000 children around the world
RELATED TOPICS
  • Hunger
  • Poverty

Editor's note: CNN Heroes received more than 10,000 nominations from 100 countries, and a Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through November 18 (6 a.m. ET) at CNNHeroes.com. The winner will be announced at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which airs Thanksgiving night, November 25, at 8 ET.

(CNN) -- Since 1992, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow has dedicated his life to helping people in need. Today, his Mary's Meals program, run from a tin shed in the Scottish Highlands, provides free daily meals to more than 400,000 children around the world.

Below are his thoughts on being chosen as a Top 10 CNN Hero.

Q: Where were you when you got the call that you'd been selected as a Top 10 CNN Hero?

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow: When I got the call, I was actually in a car on the way from Edinburgh, Scotland's capital. Mary's Meals was chosen to be part of the festivities to celebrate the pope's visit and his historic meeting with the queen. Mary's Meals volunteers turned out in force and spent the day on the streets, collecting cans and handing out Mary's Meals literature. As usual, we were astounded by people's generosity.

Your incredible news made an already fantastic day even more wonderful. I was genuinely shocked to learn I had made the Top 10, especially because I have been so moved and impressed by all those other people featured as Heroes.

Q: What do you hope it will mean to Mary's Meals for you to be a Top 10 CNN Hero?

MacFarlane-Barrow: I still feel a little embarrassed by this whole thing. Mary's Meals is a movement -- thousands of people all over globe doing small things every day so that hungry children can be fed, no one doing anything spectacular, just lots and lots of little acts of love. So to be singled out can sometimes feel slightly embarrassing.

But at the same time, I know that this is the most incredible opportunity we have ever had to raise awareness of this vital work. I have no doubt that by highlighting the work of Mary's Meals to a global audience, CNN is going to enable many more hungry children to start receiving daily meals in school. And that makes me so, so happy.

Q: What do you want people to know most about your work?

MacFarlane-Barrow: In this world of plenty, no child need starve. And yet today, thousands will die of hunger-related causes. Our vision -- that every child in the world receive one good meal every day in a place of education -- can be realized.

 
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