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Updated on: Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 07:12 PM IST

Marcus Rashford just got UK govt to give Rs 1,154 crore extra to feed children

Marcus Rashford | Photo: Twitter/ Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford | Photo: Twitter/ Marcus Rashford

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A campaign led by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has forced the government to fund nearly Rs 1,154 crore extra to feed the needy children over the summer holidays.

Rashford, 22, cited the example of his own childhood experience of relying on free school lunches. His campaign, which drew support from celebrities, opposition politicians, pressed the government to continue the meal voucher program at the end of the school term in July.

"As a family, we relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals and the kind actions of neighbours and coaches," he wrote in a letter to the government posted on Twitter.

"Food banks and soup kitchens were not alien to us; I recall very clearly our visits to Northern Moor to collect our Christmas dinners every year.

“A a black man from a low-income family in Wythenshawe, Manchester, I could have been just another statistic.

“Instead, due to the selfless actions of my mum, my family, my neighbors, and my coaches, the only stats I’m associated with are goals, appearances and caps. I would be doing myself, my family and my community an injustice if I didn’t stand here today with my voice and my platform and ask you for help.”

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Following Rashford's letter, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had initially resisted, but his government gave in and announced that it would continue to provide food vouchers to 1.3 million children in England from lower-income families who are eligible for free school meals over the six-week summer break.

Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, said: "The prime minister fully understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation."

Twitter was filled with support for Rashford's achievement. Even rival club fans were full of praises for the young Englishman.

"Deserves a round of applause, guard of honour, anything in future PL games. The man should get some sort of recognition for using his platform for the greater good," wrote a Liverpool fan channel.

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"Sensation. Marcus Rashford - you have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. A true national hero. Thank you," wrote the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

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Published on: Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 06:57 PM IST
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