Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has written to the House of Commons urging Members of Parliament to continue a free meal scheme for vulnerable youngsters.
With schools closing across the United Kingdom in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government devised a scheme to protect children and teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds and who claim free meals during term time.
Eligible households have received vouchers worth £15 on a weekly basis to spend at supermarkets and lessen the financial toll of the pandemic.
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Rashford has spent the lockdown aiding charitable foundations, in particular the FareShare organisation which, thanks to the striker's support, has been able to provide three million meals to beneficiaries over the last three months.
Now he has urged the government to continue to back its voucher scheme throughout the summer holiday period of the school calendar.
“The government has taken a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to the economy — I’m asking you today to extend that same thinking to protecting all vulnerable children across England,” Rashford affirmed in his letter.
“I encourage you to hear their pleas and find your humanity. Please reconsider your decision to cancel the food voucher scheme over the summer holiday period and guarantee the extension. This is England in 2020, and this is an issue that needs urgent assistance.
“Please, while the eyes of the nation are on you, make the U-turn and make protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable a top priority.
“As 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.”
Rashford and United will be back in Premier League action on Friday, when the Reds visit Tottenham in their first official match since the English top flight came to a halt in March.