Marcus Rashford: Free School Meals For Children During Summer Holidays Promised By The Government
16 June 2020, 13:18 | Updated: 16 June 2020, 13:35
The government is setting up a “summer school fund” after footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign and heartfelt letter about the importance of free school meals.
Children eligible for free school meals during term time will receive a six-week voucher entitling them to food throughout the summer after footballer Marcus Rashford's campaign went viral.
The support works out around £15 per week per student.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed footballer Marcus Rashford’s “contribution to the debate around poverty” after he spent weeks campaigning against the government's plans to not offer pupils meals during the school holidays.
Manchester United player Marcus shared a heartfelt open letter to the government asking them to reconsider their decision to cancel the food voucher summer scheme.
Upon hearing the news the government have changed the plans, Marcus tweeted: “I don’t even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.”
Marcus helped raise £20 million with charity FareShare UK throughout lockdown, in a bid to help supply three million meals to vulnerable children.
Sharing a letter urging MPs to take back their decision on cancelling the food voucher scheme over summer, the sportsman also detailed his own experience of benefitting from free school meals as a child.
In the letter he said he and his family “relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals, and kind action of neighbours and coaches.”
Urging MPs to reverse their decision, he said: “Ten years ago, I would have been one of those children, and you would never have heard my voice and seen the determination to become part of the solution.”
He added: “This is not about politics. This is about humanity…
“Food poverty in England is a pandemic that could span generations if we don’t correct now.”
Pleading for “urgent assistance,” Marcus continued: “While the eyes of the nation are upon you, make the U-turn and make protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable a top priority.”
The government will now set up a "Covid summer school fund" after sending vouchers and food parcels throughout lockdown to children who usually rely on free school meals.