Marcus Rashford campaign for extended free school meals succeeds

Marcus Rashford said "look at what we can do when we come together" after his campaign to extend the children's food voucher scheme into the summer holidays led to a Government U-turn.

Rashford wrote an open letter to MPs this week urging the Government to reverse its decision not to award free school meals vouchers in England – for which nearly 1.3 million children are eligible – outside of term time.

The Manchester United and England forward followed that up with an impassioned article in The Times on Tuesday, detailing his experience of growing up using food banks and receiving free meals as a child.

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Manchester United's Marcus Rashford lies in pain after picking up a back injury during the FA Cup third round replay match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mate Mason Greenwood during the Carabao Cup semi final first leg match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Marcus Rashford attends in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Nike's most iconic football boot, some of the world's best footballers arrive in South London to debut its latest versions, the Mercurial Superfly and Vapor 360 at The Printworks on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Nike)
United’s Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring during the Europa League round of 32 second leg soccer match between Manchester United and FC Midtjylland in Manchester, England, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 . (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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And the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Owing to the coronavirus pandemic the Prime Minister fully understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer.

"To reflect this we will be providing a Covid Summer Food Fund. This will provide food vouchers covering the six-week holiday period. This is a specific measure to reflect the unique circumstances of the pandemic.

"The scheme will not continue beyond the summer and those eligible will be those who already qualify for free school meals."

Reacting to the news, Rashford wrote on Twitter: "I don't even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020."

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