#YNaijaSportsExtra: Marcus Rashford’s attempt to end child hunger frustrated by the UK government

Having lived off food vouchers while growing up, Manchester United‘s Marcus Rashford is well aware of the distress of fighting hunger as a child. It is this experience that has inspired the midfielder to be an advocate for hunger relief programs.

During the pandemic alone, he helped raised £2o million for food distribution charity FareShare. He is a decorated activist and has been acknowledged by UK’s Prime Minister for his “contribution to the debate around poverty.”

However, it is this same government that has decided to put a dent in his plan to afford free school meals to little children.

Marcus Rashford had earlier created a petition to the government that suggests plans to end child food poverty. Included in this petition was a three-point plan from the National Food Strategy which is; expanding free school meals, providing meals and activities during the holidays and expanding other schemes in place to prevent child hunger.

He put this petition on his Twitter page and in less than 24 hours more than a hundred thousand people, the minimum requirement to turn a petition into a legislative debate, had signed. The signatures would eventually surpass two hundred thousand, but this was not enough to sway the government in favour of the demands.

When the question of the scheme and why it was rejected was brought up, Boris Johnson said: “It’s not for schools to regularly provide food to pupils during the school holidays.”

This was discouraging to hear no doubt, however, Marcus Rashford looks to be much more undeterred than the government of the UK is. He noted that he wasn’t pleased with the government’s response but will keep pushing no less.

Luckily he seems to have a lot of supporters, as fans of his work, both on the football field and on the activism frontlines have come out to lend their voices to his end hunger scheme.

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