The UK government have today made a U-turn on their decision to stop the food voucher scheme, after a campaign by Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford. Rashford, who was a beneficiary of the scheme as a child, began the #MakeTheUTurn campaign on Twitter on Monday morning. Around 1.3million children are now eligible for free meals throughout the summer holidays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marcus Rashford Earns Plaudits For Government Food Voucher U-Turn
A Hero On and Off the Pitch
Most associate Rashford with placing pressure on defences. This week, he placed pressure on the Government. Children eligible for free school meals tend not to receive them during the summer holidays. Rashford campaigned to ensure that, due to school closures, these children continue to receive those meals. He hopes that this will help in his battle to end child poverty.
The Manchester United forward, 22, has enjoyed a successful season on the pitch too. He has scored 18 goals in 30 games this season, becoming United’s top goalscorer in the process. The #MakeTheUTurn campaign ensured that Rashford’s name is known by the mainstream in the UK. He earned significant plaudits from politicians and the public for his work.
An Open Letter to all MPs in Parliament…#maketheUturn
Please retweet and tag your local MPs pic.twitter.com/GXuUxFJdcv
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) June 14, 2020
After significant public pressure, catalysed by Rashford’s campaign, the Government made a u-turn and decided to run the scheme. A Downing Street source commented: “The PM welcomes his contribution to the debate around poverty and respects the fact that he has been using his profile as a leading sportsman to highlight important issues.”
The Leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, praised Rashford this afternoon. He tweeted: “This is another welcome u-turn from Boris Johnson. The thought of 1.3 million children going hungry this summer was unimaginable. Well done to Marcus Rashford and many others who spoke out so powerfully about this issue.”
As a result of his successful campaign, Rashford praised the public on Twitter. He exclaimed that good things happen when people come together.
I don’t even know what to say.
Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) June 16, 2020
Rashford is expected to return to Manchester United’s starting 11 when they face Tottenham Hotspur on Friday. He missed three months before the lockdown due to a back injury.