Press release

April 27, 2016

Lunchbox launch invites Londoners to gift meals to hungry schoolchildren

A London-based marketing agency is teaming up with city centre lunch venues to help some of the world’s poorest children attend school.

Earnest Labs (the innovation arm of Earnest) has created a bespoke contactless payment terminal – Lunchbox – to enable those buying lunch in the city to make a small donation to charity, quickly and easily using their contactless card.

Tapping the Lunchbox terminal will give a thirty pence donation to school feeding charity Mary’s Meals, which provides nutritious food to more than 1.1 million children every
school day.

Mary’s Meals sets up community-run school feeding programmes in some of the world’s poorest countries including Malawi, Liberia, India, and Haiti. By providing a daily meal in school, Mary’s Meals attracts hungry children to the classroom, where they can gain an education that will help them work towards a better future.

The charity can provide a meal for an average of six pence, meaning each thirty pence donation collected by Lunchbox terminals will provide five life-changing meals to hungry children in their place of education.

Current statistics show that 80% of people in the UK already donate to charity regularly, and Earnest’s Lunchbox initiative aims to facilitate spontaneous generosity in a no-
pressure environment. By placing the Lunchbox terminal at the point of sale, vendors make it easy for customers to donate.

James Wood of Earnest Labs said: “While there has been a 306.8% 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

The technology will be launched on May 3 through partner vendors Reynolds, Coco di mama, and Kaffeine.

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.”

For more information about Lunchbox terminals visit; to find out more about the work of Mary’s Meals, visit


Notes to Editors

Earnest / Earnest Labs

Earnest Labs is the innovation arm of award winning agency Earnest. Earnest Labs is on a mission to inspire the agency, it’s clients and the wider world to think differently about how they tackle problems.

Mary’s Meals

Mary’s Meals began in Malawi in 2002 after its founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow met a young woman called Emma who was dying from AIDS. She was sitting on the mud floor of her hut surrounded by her children. When Magnus asked her 14-year-old son, Edward, what his dreams were in life, his stark reply was: “To have enough food to eat and to go to school one day”. This was a key part of the inspiration that led to the Mary’s Meals campaign.

Mary’s Meals, which began feeding 200 children in one school in Malawi in 2002, now reaches 1,101,206 children with a daily meal in their place of education in 12 countries, across four continents.

For more information, please contact:

Earnest Labs
James Wood, Director of Earnest Labs
Tel: +44 (0) 778 622 3669

Mary’s Meals
Jane Hamilton, Head of Communications (UK & Ireland)
Tel: +44 (0) 141 336 7094 | Mob: +44 (0) 7779790541

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