Marcus Rashford has been performing in more than one campaign this season. As well as being Manchester United’s joint top goalscorer for the current season – at the time of writing – he has also been spearheading another campaign to prevent child hunger during the pandemic.
Rashford grew up in a working-class family and the youngest of five children. At times during his childhood, there were instances where he had no food to eat and he and his siblings would go hungry. The scenario of going hungry as a child was not foreign to the young striker, and he decided to take action once the pandemic hit.
You might have been searching the online football odds to see what price you could get for Rashford to win the Golden Boot award this season, but maybe you should have been wagering on him picking up an MBE instead. Hear the full details here.
What Are the Details?
In the UK, some children from less-wealthy backgrounds are entitled to free school meals as a way to ensure the child stays healthy and to help parents. The free school meals programme only runs during term time, meaning that children would be denied these meals when the term ended in July. However, this year would be tougher than most. Data already suggests that workers that don’t have a university degree have been most affected.
Marcus Rashford took action by starting a campaign on behalf of the 1.3 million children who would no longer be able to get free school meals. Rashford’s campaign was backed by the media, many MPs and his 2.8 million Twitter following.
The public pressure made a difference as Downing Street U-turned on their decision and decided to extend the free school meals programme with an identical scheme known as the COVID Summer Food Fund. The summer package would give each child food to the equivalent of £15 each week, which is a big help to struggling families. A government spokesperson has estimated that the scheme will cost the taxpayer around £120 million.
The Queen Recognises Rashford
Every June on the Queen’s Birthday, a group of people are honoured for their work in Britain. This June’s honours list was postponed and dedicated entirely to key workers.
The delayed list of 2020 included Marcus Rashford’s name, with the queen recognising him for his activism and help to secure food for vulnerable children. He was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) title at just 22 years old.
Marcus Rashford MBE was “honoured and humbled” to receive the Queen’s recognition but continue to say that this campaign is not about him. He went on to state that the real recipient of the award should be his mother who was also heavily involved in the campaign.
Marcus and his mother were both seen helping out at a local food bank recently.
This is not the first time Rashford has been vocal about issues and showed his activism traits. He also took to Twitter earlier in the year to support the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Marcus Has Won the Respect of the Nation
Football is an industry that divides opinions and fans into fierce rivalries. Yet, sometimes those rivalries are put aside and this is one of those occasions. Social media has filled with supporters from other clubs singing Rashford’s praises.
And Rashford isn’t planning on stopping there. He is now aiming to work alongside MPs to put together a task force which will be responsible for making sure child poverty and child hunger are not forgotten.