Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford has recently been awarded an MBE for his services to vulnerable children during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to his campaign which fought for the government to allow 1.3 million children to claim free school meal vouchers, during the pandemic.
Rashford initially aired his concerns on March 19th as lockdown occurred, he sympathised with struggling families as he himself had grown up relying on breakfast clubs and school meal vouchers, with his single mother struggling to provide for a family of five on minimum wage.
The 22 year old wrote, “Many of the children attending these schools rely on free meals,” as he told his own humbling story of how in his younger years he and his family “relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals and the kind of actions of neighbours”.
Boris Johnson and the conservative government came under immense pressure from the public, after initially rejecting the United star’s first plea to uphold the weekly £15 vouchers over the summer.
Yet after MP’s aired their concerns over this, parliament announced the new 120 million “Covid Summer Food Fund”.
Rashford’s outspoken manner against the government, using his position of social power for the benefit and health of over a million British children ensuring they do not go hungry during such troubling times, managed to reverse Johnson’s narrow-minded decision.
After becoming an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list, Rashford told the BBC he felt “honoured” to be given the title and hopes that his work would “inspire more people to do good things”.
13 weeks after lockdown had begun in March, the Manchester born man had helped to ensure the supply of the equivalent of three million meals for the country’s vulnerable children. His taskforce called for the growth of free school meals, expanding school food programmes as well as increasing value of the Healthy Start vouchers.
Marcus Rashford’s selfless and exceptional actions during Covid-19, safeguarding our defenceless families rightfully so earned him the MBE title, garnering plaudits from the footballing world.
His actions both on and off the pitch epitomise his character and show that he has not lost his roots of humble beginnings despite being renowned as one of the best footballers in the country.
However, his work on this matter is not yet over as he claims that he will ask the prime minister to “extend the vouchers at least until October half-term”.
Featured image: Twitter @MarcusRashford
Last modified: 28th October 2020