Marcus Rashford has issued a plea to “protect” children from hunger during BBC Children In Need.
The Manchester United footballer reflected on his experiences of going without food as a child in a heartfelt video filmed for the annual charity fundraiser.
Rashford has drawn widespread praise for highlighting the issue and his campaign resulted in the Government back-tracking to announce free meals would be provided to disadvantaged children over the Christmas holidays.
Speaking in a video message that was played during the BBC One programme, he said: “As a kid, I just learnt to really appreciate the days when I did have food and in the nights when I didn’t, I’d just go to sleep quickly.
“To go to sleep hungry isn’t a nice feeling.
“At the moment I see a lot of families that are really struggling.
“I think some people don’t want to believe that it’s happening, but there’s a lot of children out there that are suffering.
“We have to protect them kids because that’s the future of our country.”
The fundraising total for Children In Need currently stands at £37,032,789.
Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally phoned Rashford to alert him to the decision to lay on £170 million of extra funding for free meals for disadvantaged children during the Christmas holidays.
The footballer was recently awarded an MBE after forcing a Government U-turn on free school meal vouchers.