Customers → Mary's Meals

Mary’s Meals, a nonprofit organization based in Scotland, provides critical meals to more than 1 million children each day through school feeding programs in some of the world’s most under-resourced communities. Through the nonprofit, a donation of only $21 can feed one child for an entire year.

Mary’s Meals manages employees and services in 19 countries across the world to feed nearly 1.7 million children daily. As IT Infrastructure Lead, Stephen Neil is responsible for leading a distributed tech team of 10 to keep all of Mary’s Meals’ digital operations up and running—this includes managing the website, applications, and all technical monitoring at a global scale.

Connectivity Challenges in Remote Locations

Traditionally, the organization’s program provided one vital meal daily directly to schools in poverty-stricken communities. However, with COVID-19 closing most schools across the world, Mary’s Meals had to adapt. “Within a matter of weeks, our program’s delivery model was impacted globally. We had to start looking at alternatives because the need [for child nourishment] didn’t go away,” explained Neil. Now, the organization is delivering meals directly to the communities served by the schools.

With this change, Mary’s Meals faced new challenges. Many of the countries they serve lack key internet infrastructure to communicate effectively, making oversight difficult. ”Being able to detect where we have communication failures in a timely manner is really critical to our operations,” Neil shared.

Mary’s Meals needed help with:

  • Maintaining communication in areas with minimal internet access
  • Alerting the correct team member when connectivity in remote areas fails
  • Aggregating alerts from multiple monitoring systems in one place

Using PagerDuty to Stay Connected—and More

Through PagerDuty.org, Mary’s Meals was able to leverage PagerDuty’s technology and benefit from Impact Pricing, which provides 10 free PagerDuty licenses to support nonprofits and other social enterprises in delivering on their critical missions. After implementing PagerDuty, Neil quickly saw that there were numerous use cases where PagerDuty could benefit Mary’s Meals.

For example, after visiting an on-site location in Liberia, Neil quickly realized that the organization’s vehicle tracking software could be integrated with PagerDuty so that when a vehicle gets stranded somewhere, employees can press a panic button to alert rescue responders immediately via SMS notifications. “We can couple PagerDuty with an existing solution that we had already implemented on the ground to provide a higher degree of alerting on system events locally,” explained Neil. This enabled Mary’s Meals to protect company assets and provide more reliable security in remote locations, saving valuable resources that could be used to feed as many children as possible.

Using PagerDuty, Mary’s Meals can now:

  • Send alerts via SMS instead of relying on unstable internet connections
  • Send alerts to the right person quickly when a connection drops or web services are faulty
  • Integrate with monitoring tools to have all alerts in one place

Looking Ahead

Going forward, Mary’s Meals plans to scale PagerDuty across other departments and implement new use cases, such as using GPS tracker information from satellite phones to alert on potential personnel safety issues when traveling and to alert security officers to important field safety reports. Mary’s Meals is beginning to manage services in AWS and Azure and will be adding integrations with AWS CloudWatch and Azure Alerting to get application insight, log events, and autoscale notifications.

To learn more about PagerDuty’s Impact Pricing and whether your nonprofit organization is eligible, check out https://www.pagerduty.com/foundation-eligibility/.