Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Manchester United and England Footballer Marcus Rashford has forced the UK Government to make yet another U-turn with his campaign for free school meals
The UK Government has decided to pledge over £400 million to support children in need with free meals over the school holidays as a result of Marcus Rashford's efforts. The Government previously rejected calls to provide underprivileged children with free meals over the holidays and the PM confidently announced that he would not be changing his mind on the matter. However, Boris Johnson has finally gone back on his decision after facing an overwhelming amount of criticism and backlash.
Last night it was said that Johnson personally phoned Rashford after he played in a football match against Everton to inform him of the good news. The money will pay for a scheme labelled the 'Covid Winter Grant Scheme' which will provide support to families over the festive period with bills, food and activity programmes.
The scheme will commence at the start of December and councils will be provided with a combined total of £170 million to use until the end of March 2021. The grant will then be extended with a sum of over £200 million to cover the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays in 2021. In addition to this it is said a further £16 million will be given to support the nations food bank services.
Rashford has expressed his gratitude, saying that he is "so proud" of everyone who supported his campaign and that he is "overwhelmed by the outpouring of empathy and understanding." He also ensured people that he is fully committed to the cause and will continue to fight for the rest of his life for it because in his mind "no child should ever go hungry in the United Kingdom."
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