Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Marcus Rashford urges the government to reverse their decision regarding free meals over the school holidays.
The government has been put under increasing amount of pressure to reverse their decision on not providing free meals over the school holidays across England. The government recently ruled out extending free school meals outside of term time despite Rashford's continued effort to end child food poverty. Downing Street have since insisted that they would not be changing their decision and two Tory MP's in particular have come under severe amounts of criticism after one made remarks that suggested that the money went to “crack dens and brothels” and another implicated that help from the government was not needed due to hospitality firms being able to step in and help instead.
Despite this, Rashford has expressed that he “couldn’t be more proud to call [himself] British” after seeing the community response to his campaign. In a statement discussing the many restaurants and cafes that have supported his initiative he wrote “Even at their lowest point, having felt the devastating effects of the pandemic, local businesses have wrapped arms around their community today, catching vulnerable children as they fell."
A petition has since been launched against using public money to fund MP's food costs due to current circumstances allowing MP's to claim up to £25 per night for food and non-alcoholic drinks when staying outside of London and their constituency. The petition has now received over 850,000 signatures.
Marcus Rashford has been a vocal supporter of free school meals for children over the Covid-19 crisis. In June he wrote a letter to MP’s urging them to vote to continue feeding children, despite them not being at school. He argued that many parents will struggle to pay for their kids meals over the holidays and during the coronavirus lockdown. He spoke about his personal experiences of growing up in poverty, and how 10 years ago, he would have been one of those children having to go hungry over the holidays. Marcus Rashford has since become a champion for many under privileged children across the country. He does so by helping to fund charities who provide up to 3 million meals a week. You can read more about his efforts in our previous blog posts by clicking here.
MP's voting against extending the free school meals scheme over the Christmas holidays has caused an uproar amongst the public and its safe to say the battle to prevent children from going hungry over the holidays does not end here despite the government claiming that they will not be changing their minds.
Many local organisations in Croydon are offering support to families in the local area who may suffer over the school holidays as a result of the governments latest decision.
Click here to see a list of places in the local area who are offering help to those in need.