Emergency Food Aid in Maralal

M2T Board Member Alexandria Skouras helps distribute food to the Shabaa community in Maralal.

In April, M2T donors sponsored a food mission in Samburu and March to the Top was lucky enough to attend!

Traveling from Nairobi, our first stop was JM Good Hope Primary School in Wiyumirire.

JM Good Hope doubles as volunteer basecamp for food missions that are managed by the indomitable Teresa Thiru. After the wonderful welcome, M2T joined volunteers in packing 786 bags of food to be distributed over the following two days.


Volunteers worked late into the night preparing 18kg bags filled with rice, beans, maize, salt and porridge. The next morning we departed for Samburu county, a four hour trip to the north.


We arrived in Maralal, the capital of Samburu county, around 8:00am. As we approached the meeting point, hundreds of Samburu community members began walking down from local villages in hopes of receiving food aid.

A confluence of events has led to current food insecurities and famine in northern Kenya. Drought has plagued the country, destroying crops and decimating livestock. New government regulation pushed tribespeople from their native home – the forests around Maralal – to the arid, semi-urban areas around Maralal town. Finally, Covid-19 emergency regulations led to the permanent closure of many food markets and other businesses. As a result, the situation in many parts of northern Kenyan, is dire. M2T funded this mission, our fourth in the area, to help relieve hunger in this geographic area.

It’s not easy to determine who is most needy when everyone is in need. Elderly men and women were prioritized, then those identified by local authorities as being in significant need.

M2T joined volunteers in passing out bags of food and collecting “food tickets” distributed upon arrival. When 400 of the 786 bags were distributed, we packed up the truck and headed to Shabaa village to visit those unable to leave home.

In Shabaa, we visited the homes of the most needy – the disabled, the elderly, the ill – distributing the remainder of the food packages. We were greeted with smiles and appreciation by everyone we met.

Since the onset of Covid, the impact of these food missions has been immense. Community members recounted weeks without food and no help from the government. They spoke with distress about another year of failed crops and dying livestock. Although a small intervention, March to the Top was honored to provide a few weeks of relief and to be able to commune with those in need.