Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has written to parliament to urge politicians to supply meals for vulnerable children during the summer holidays.
The government has announced they will not extend the free school meals voucher system for low-income families over the summer. Read also: Jose mourinho revealed why he love Marcus Rashford
The scheme was introduced in March to help families feed their children when schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and Rashford is demanding a re-think.
“Please reconsider your decision to cancel the food voucher scheme over the summer holiday period and guarantee the extension,” Rashford wrote in an open letter to MPs.
“This is England in 2020, and this is an issue that needs urgent assistance. Please, while the eyes of the nation are on you, make the u-turn and make protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable a top priority.”
The 22-year-old, who will be back in action for United this week, has already helped raised more than £20 million for food distribution charity Fare Share since the Covid-19 outbreak and told MPs his motivation comes from personal experience after growing up in south Manchester.
“My story to get here is all-too-familiar for families in England: my mum worked full-time, earning minimum wage to make sure we always had a good evening meal on the table,” Rashford wrote.
“But it was not enough. The system was not built for families like mine to succeed, regardless of how hard my mum worked.
“As a family, we relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals, and the kind actions of neighbours and coaches.
“Food banks and soup kitchens were not alien to us; I recall very clearly our visits to Northern Moor to collect our Christmas dinners every year.
“As a black man from a low-income family in Wythenshawe, Manchester, I could have been just another statistic.
“Instead, due to the selfless actions of my mum, my family, my neighbours, and my coaches, the only stats I’m associated with are goals, appearances and caps. I would be doing myself, my family and my community an injustice if I didn’t stand here today with my voice and my platform and ask you for help.”