MASTERCHEF winner Gary Maclean is serving up hope and joy to hungry children all over the world with one of his most amazing dishes yet – a cheery Porridge Smile.

The National Chef of Scotland is teaming up with charity Mary’s Meals to celebrate World Porridge Day on Wednesday, October 10.

Gary couldn’t wait to put his culinary skills to use by creating his very own Porridge Smile ‘selfie’ – complete with glasses and his distinct red beard – to raise awareness about how young lives in the world’s poorest countries are being changed every day with a simple bowl of porridge.

Mary’s Meals provides nutritious meals in school to more than 1.3 million impoverished children in 17 countries. For children receiving meals in Malawi, Zambia and Liberia, the simple bowl of likuni phala (vitamin-enriched porridge) attracts them to school and provides the nourishment and energy needed to focus on their education.

This October, the charity is inviting people across the UK to join its World Porridge Day celebrations by creating their own Porridge Smiles to share online and raise vital funds and awareness.

Gary, who is also senior chef lecturer at the City of Glasgow College, said: “I’m delighted to be part of Mary’s Meals’ Porridge Smiles campaign this World Porridge Day. As someone working with food in education, the amazing work of Mary’s Meals is something that really resonates with me.

“I find it scary that in this day and age, there are children going hungry and out of school. By providing a meal in school, Mary’s Meals is bringing children to the classroom where they can gain an education and the skills to live free of poverty.

“Porridge Smiles remind us that a simple meal in school is life changing for a hungry child. They’re great fun to and I’d love to see lots of Porridge Smiles this World Porridge Day. Let’s all make a hungry child smile with porridge.”

There are many ways to take part in Mary’s Meals’ Porridge Smiles campaign, supported by official partner Stoats. To request a free fundraising pack, visit

Families, friends, classmates and colleagues across the country can come together to host a fundraising porridge party. Porridge Smiles can be shared on social media using #PorridgeSmiles, while donations can be made by texting OATS18 £2 to 70070 to provide a hungry child with a meal in school for an entire month.