Marcus Rashford has spoken out on his fight against childhood hunger, saying he is shocked every day by what he's seen in the UK.
The Manchester United and England striker was recently awarded an MBE in recognition for his campaign to help vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic.
Among Rashford's recent accomplishments was his success in getting the UK government to make a U-turn and continue free school meals for around 1.3 million disadvantaged children.
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The 22-year-old has also formed a task force with England's food brand giants to combat child poverty across the country.
Rashford has said that it is "mind-blowing" to see the amount of suffering in the UK, which spurs him on to continue his fight.
"Every single day it shocks me," Rashford said. "It’s not until people see the numbers and I’ve had the chance to visit some of the families I’ve managed to help and hear how it’s affected them and changed their lives.
"It’s just mind-blowing the amount of people who are suffering and the amount of people who don’t know where to get the help.
"There’s a lot of things that would shock a lot of people if they knew the facts about the issue. For me not enough people do know the facts, as I was one of them.
"For me, personally, it's just sad to know it's still going on, and I obviously was in that position when I was younger, and some of the families are in much worse positions than what I was in, so I can only imagine what it feels like for the parents and the children who just want the best for one another, so it's difficult to really say one thing that somebody said to me that sticks out, because for me they're all as important as each other."
Rashford has seen himself thrust into the spotlight over his off-field work as well as his contributions on the pitch for England and Man Utd. Having made his professional debut at 18 for one of the world's best-known clubs, Rashford said he has become comfortable with the limelight.
"I think playing for United and England at a young age, it helped me mature a lot quicker than I would’ve expected to," Rashford said.
"I’m grateful for those opportunities and very happy I was put in those positions. I do feel like I’ve matured a lot. I feel like I’m free to speak on things I feel strongly about. It’s because of those experiences in the past that make me feel so comfortable doing that."