Man United star Marcus Rashford has been in the news for all the right reasons in recent times. The England international had his best ever season as a player while also spearheading a charity campaign providing food to vulnerable families across the UK. The 22-year-old's efforts have been rewarded with a doctorate from the University of Manchester and he also received the PFA Merit Award. However, Marcus Rashford is not resting on his laurels and remains determined to end child poverty in the UK.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain on Monday, Marcus Rashford said that he is driven to end child poverty in the country after setting up an End Child Poverty UK task force. The 22-year-old had, earlier this year, led the campaign which led to the UK government dramatically overturning their decision to halt free school meals amidst the pandemic. The End Child Poverty UK task force is a group of supermarkets, businesses and charities who are seeking permanent changes to government policy and maximise the help given to the families. The Marcus Rashford campaign's plans include extending the free school meals initiative to every child who lives in a household on Universal Credit.
The Man United star said that a lot of inspiration for the Marcus Rashford campaign came from his mother and his childhood days. The England international added that poverty could have a severe effect on the child's personal development. Rashford said that a lack of food means that children have no energy and they sleep during classes, while sports and similar activities are out of the question. He continued by saying that child poverty also sows the seeds for homelessness and crime and can mark the beginning of many pathways one should not embark upon.
Big companies, charities like Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Deliveroo, FareShare, Food Foundation, Iceland, Kellogg's, Lidl, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose have joined the Marcus Rashord campaign against child poverty. The task force set up by the Man United star is campaigning to increase the value of the Healthy Start vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25 per week for children under the age of four and pregnant women. The expansion of free school meals will reach another 1.5 million vulnerable children aged seven to 16. The Marcus Rashford campaign has been backed by the independent National Food Strategy and has urged the UK government to sanction the changes as soon as possible.