Marcus Rashford is one of Manchester United & England’s biggest football stars on the pitch, but the 22-year-old is also considered a national hero in England for his campaign to end child hunger in the United Kingdom.
Rashford has been working to extend the government’s free school meals campaign to carry on until the 2021 Easter holidays, instead of only during term time.
Rashford himself grew up in a working-class family and has dedicated his time off the pitch to highlight the plight of over 1.4 million children across the UK who rely on free school meals this year.
The United star was able to change the outcome of the UK Government’s decision to provide free meals to underprivileged children during the summer school holiday. This followed an earlier extension for free school meals for underprivileged children over the 2020 Easter holidays.
Unfortunately, Rashford’s campaign hit yet another roadblock this month when the Labour Party’s bid to extend free school meals was rejected by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government.
Rashford then, very frustrated with the government decision, took to Twitter to voice his disappointment. He launched a petition on his Twitter urging government to reverse their decision and intensify their efforts to end child hunger.
Since he released his petition to end child poverty cafes, farms, restaurants, supermarkets and other businesses have pledged to offer free school meal to children for the upcoming school break. His petition has also since passed over 1 million signatures.
“We talk about the devastating impact of Covid-19 but, if projections are anything to go by, child poverty has the potential to become the greatest pandemic the country has ever faced. We must start working together and unite to protect our most vulnerable children,” Rashford wrote on his Twitter.
Despite all the good the Manchester United youngster has done off the pitch, he has received his fair share of criticism for doing so.
Many pundits have said that Rashford should focus on football rather than getting involved in political matters.
He has also received a lot of praise from fellow football players, ex-players, and politicians of all stripes.
Rashford has also received the very prestigious Member of the British Empire (MBE) award for his efforts to end child poverty in the UK, his official title now is Marcus Rashford MBE.
He has received praise from many of his teammates and most recently from Juan Mata, who said: “I’m very proud of what Marcus has been doing. On the pitch, of course, we know how good he is and he is still performing very much very well but off the pitch also, the work he’s been doing over the last few months has been great.
“He has improved the quality of life for so many kids across the country, which I’m sure everyone is proud of.”
It definitely seems as though Marcus Rashford will be making headlines on both the front and back pages for months to come. It’s clear to see that the United star has a bright future on the pitch, but who knows perhaps he will have a bright future off the pitch as well once his football career is over.