As ministers launched a £ 170 m winter grant program aimed at supporting low-income households suffering as a result of Covid-19, footballer Marcus Rashford described being “overwhelmed with pride” in the success of his effort to tackle child food poverty.
After his Manchester United team played Everton on Saturday, Rashford said he had met with Boris Johnson and was aware of the new preparations. Though he claimed that many of the targets of the initiative have yet to be reached, he was proud and thankful for the significant measures taken.
After the game today, I had a good chat with the Prime Minister to better understand the current policy, and I very much respect the steps taken to combat hunger batling by kids in the United Kingdom,” the Manchester United striker said.
There is so much more to be done, and I am immediately worried about the nearly 1.7 million children who lack regular school food, holiday necessities, and Safe Start coupons because their family income is not adequately low. But the purpose displayed today by the government is nothing but optimistic and they should be recognized for that. Over the next 12 months, the actions taken now will strengthen the lives of up to 1.7 million children in the UK.
Over the half-term break, as Rashford requested, ministers faced fierce backlash for refusing to offer free school meals to children from low-income households.
But in a deal that would cost more than four times as much than would have been needed to finance free school meals for two weeks (£ 40 m), the government now insists it is delivering better-targeted funding. It allocates £170 m to households in greatest need for the next four months, with the project continuing until early March.
Furthermore, next year the holiday events and food program will also be extended across England.
I don’t want any kid to go through what I went through, and any parent to experience what my mother has endured, “Rashford continued.” I am also calling on the government to partner with the task force on child food hunger to ensure that no child can do so.
I’m filled today with the pride that we’ve made such substantial progress. We’re not going to give up on our and this country’s prospects.