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Mary's Meals rolls out contactless donation boxes in cafes to 'move on from change in a bucket'


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

May 5, 2016 | 3 min read

Mary’s Meals, an international charity intent on feeding the world's hungriest children, is piloting contactless donation boxes with select partners to ease donations and spread its good work.

The Scottish-based charity has set up the NFC enabled boxes in cafes across England, enabling consumers to donate 30p as an aside.

The scenario and café environment helps draw a powerful connection with the cause, with the 30p cited as enough to provide some of the world’s poorest children with five meals.

The drive looks to seal technology into its operational strategy that sees 1.1m children fed each day, most of whom are based in the likes of Malawi, Liberia, India, and Haiti.

James Wood of Earnest Labs, the company that created the contactless donation boxes, said: “While there has been a 306.8 per cent increase in contactless payments in the UK over the last year, we think it’s about time the world of donations moved on from change in a bucket and being hassled while you do your shopping.”

Alan Brown, executive director of Mary’s Meals UK, said: “It’s amazing the ways that people are inspired to reach out to the world’s poorest children through our work. This innovation uses some of today’s best technology to allow people with busy lives to make a real difference in the world without having to set aside time to do it.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Earnest Labs and all the London vendors who are already on board. Together we can support the world’s poorest children to achieve their full potential and help lift their communities out of poverty.”

The boxes were rolled out 3 May through partner vendors Reynolds, ICCO, Mortimers Cafe in London and Lynwood Cafe, Oxfordshire.

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