World Porridge Day 2012: Get Involved

It’s back! Mary’s Meals presents the fourth World Porridge Day on 10 October 2012.

As we in the UK and the US start gearing up for the annual gust-busting Holiday season, spare a thought for those who regularly have to go without food.

Eat porridge for Mary’s Meals on World Porridge Day and feel better about yourself while raising money for a good cause! Go on, try it: I promise it’ll make your day. Porridge is nutritious, low-fat and cheap. Hey, what’s not to like?

Mary’s Meals is a charity (formerly known as Scottish International Relief) that provides daily life-changing meals to over 600,000 hungry children in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and South America.

The inspired fundraising team regularly comes up with innovative, easy to join campaigns such as World Porridge Day and the Backpack Project.

Now in its fourth year, World Porridge Day is an annual celebration of a traditional dish, and it’s a chance to draw attention to the vital role that porridge plays at Mary’s Meals’ projects in Africa.

Porridge, of course, provides a hearty breakfast for people all over the world, but for over 549,000 schoolchildren in Malawi it is a powerful incentive to go to school and, for many, the only nutritious meal they will have that day.

At schools in Malawi where Mary’s Meals is working, each child is given a daily serving of likuni phala – which is a nutritious, vitamin-enriched maize porridge served in plastic mugs.

The porridge meets the children’s immediate needs by filling their empty bellies, but also attracts them to the classroom where they can get an education which can lift them out of poverty in later life.

Each child is responsible for looking after their own mug, and holding onto it ensures they get a fair portion every school day. Some carry them around their necks on a piece of string to make sure they don’t miss out.

Porridge always reminds me of my father, who had a distinctly limited range in the kitchen, mostly consisting of porridge and/or bacon and eggs. He cooked porridge the way his Mayo grandmother had taught him, adding liberal quantities of butter, cream (or the top of the milk) and sugar. It really was delicious.

Nowadays I cook porridge all the time for breakfast, but I tend to eschew the butter and sugar for something a bit less artery-clogging.

My simple porridge recipe:

1 cup of porridge oats

1 cup of skimmed milk

2 cups of water

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil stirring/whisking all the time. Then turn down the heat to low and simmer for 1-2 minutes until it’s reached the consistency you like.

Add a splosh of maple syrup and stir.

TVClaw Top Tip: If you fancy easy chocolate porridge, add a tablespoonful of hot chocolate powder to the oats and liquid mix at the beginning.

If my recipe’s not good enough for you, then click over to the Mary’s Meals website for celebrity chef Nick Nairn’s downloadable porridge recipes.

For more information on World Porridge Day, contact the Mary’s Meals Fundraising team on 0800 698 1212, or email them on

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw

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