Marcus Rashford's #maketheuturn campaign successfully changes government policy on free school meals
Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Earlier this week Manchester United Footballer Marcus Rashford published an open letter to MP's calling upon them to reconsider the governments decision to stop free school meal vouchers over the holidays. In the letter the football star spoke about his experiences as a child and how he had to rely on free school meals and breakfast clubs and would hate for other children to miss out on it.
In the heartfelt letter he also spoke on the issue of food poverty in general across England and how it is a pandemic in itself that could span over generations. Moreover, he called out the fact that "Whilst 1.3 million children in England are registered for free school meals, one quarter of these children have not been given any support since school closures."
After the letter was published it was followed by a string of Ministers repeatedly denying its possibility and refusing the idea. However, yesterday an official spokesman for the prime minister declared a brand new fund entitled 'COVID Summer Food Fund' worth £120m that will enable parents to claim food vouchers for their children who were eligible for free school meals during term time to access meals during the summer holidays.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson commended the England player's "contribution to the debate around poverty" and congratulated Marcus on conducting an "impressive" with such "dignity and emotion."
Marcus has said that he was "grateful that the prime minister did change his decision" and that his campaign did in fact prompt a government U-turn but that he still wants to do more to help those in need. He stated "People are struggling all year around so we still need to learn more about the situation people are in and how we can help them best."
Wondering of ways you can help make sure no child goes hungry during the holidays? Check out FareShare and/or The Trussell Trust for volunteering and donation opportunities or contact your local food bank and ask how you can help.