Government U-turn on free school meals leaves Marcus Rashford feeling ‘proud’ with the campaign

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Rashford rally

Marcus Rashford, whilst scoring hat-tricks for Manchester United, set upon a journey to provide free school meals (FSM) for students and families struggling through the pandemic. Typically, a student can claim a free school meal if their family’s financial income falls below a set figure. However, this is only feasible during the school term.

For more than 10 weeks of the year, children are on half-term, Christmas, Easter or summer holidays. These times can be very difficult for families who would typically have 5 meals a week provided for their children by the school.

Provided the additional pressure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, families have faced even further financial struggles through redundancies and wage cuts. Rashford earned an MBE for his campaigning of the 1.3 million children who would have gone without FSM for the summer holidays.

“This is not about politics; this is about humanity,” Rashford said. “Looking at ourselves in the mirror and feeling like we did everything we could to protect those who can’t, for whatever reason or circumstance, protect themselves. Can we not all agree that no child should be going to bed hungry?”

Marcus’ success

Initially, the government had argued that Universal Credit would have been sufficient for families to survive through the second lockdown and over the Christmas break. However, this stance has now changed with £400 million being injected into further schemes to provide food for the vulnerable.

Marcus spoke to the Prime Minister after the 3-1 win over Everton on Saturday and tweeted of his elation at the U-turn taken by the government.

“Following the game today, I had a good conversation with the prime minister to better understand the proposed plan, and I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK,” said the England international.

In Rashford’s statement it was clear that the 23-year-old will continue to fight on and felt that there are still some families who have not yet got access to the help they need as their income is too low.

See also:  UK Government responds to petition calling for fans to be allowed back into stadiums which received approximately 200,000 signatures

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