Back of the net!
Premier League football has been off the cards for a while now, but Marcus Rashford has scored perhaps the most important goal of his life. The UK government has U-turned after pressure from the striker, and will now support free school meal vouchers for children throughout the summer. [Featured image: Marcus Rashford, Twitter]
The Manchester United striker wrote an open letter to Parliament asking them to reconsider scrapping free meals over the summer holidays. He also wrote a powerful piece in The Sunday Times detailing his own experiences in poverty and pleading for change.
Boris Johnson had previously announced that children would not be able to receive a voucher for a free meal each day over summer. Just this morning (June 16), ministers were defending this decision. However, immense scrutiny on the government following Rashford’s pressure eventually led them to U-turn and launch the new £120 million Covid Summer Food Fund. This will ensure the 1.3 million children in the UK on free school meals will receive vouchers for one meal a day.
Families are expected to receive a voucher to spend in supermarkets each week to buy meals and ingredients. They are said to be worth around £15. A number of Tory MPs also later pleaded for Johnson to change his mind.
“The Prime Minister welcomes Marcus Rashford’s contribution to the debate around poverty,” said the PM’s spokesman. He added that Johnson “fully understands” what the families are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just minutes after the news was revealed, Rashford has received immense credit for his heroic appeals online. For the government who initially wanted to deny these measures? Hmmm, less so.
Anyway, Marcus Rashford. Take a bow. This will change the lives of many who need it the most for the better. Let’s hope he makes it back from over the moon in time for Manchester United’s return to the Premier League this Friday, eh?