Marcus Rashford vowed to continue the fight against child hunger in the United Kingdom after the Manchester United forward was awarded an MBE.
The England international has been named on the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to vulnerable children in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rashford successfully lobbied the government to continue its policy of providing free school meals for underprivileged children into the summer months, ensuring vouchers would stay available.
The 22-year-old also partnered with FareShare and helped to raise £20million to help provide free meals to those in need amid the pandemic, while he has since worked with supermarkets and food brands to create a taskforce with the aim of tackling child food poverty.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Rashford spoke of his pride but called on prime minister Boris Johnson to extend the free meals scheme.
“I’m incredibly honoured and humbled. As a young, black man from Wythenshawe, never did I think I would be accepting an MBE, never mind an MBE at the age of 22,” Rashford wrote.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) October 9, 2020
“This is a very special moment for myself and my family, but particularly my mum who is the real deserving recipient of the honour.
“The fight to protect our most vulnerable children is far from over. I would be doing my community, and the families I have met and spoken with, an injustice if I didn’t use this opportunity to respectfully urge the prime minister, who recommended me for this honour, to support our children during the October half-term with an extension of the voucher scheme, as the furlough scheme comes to an end and we face increased unemployment.
“Another sticking plaster, but one that will give the parents of millions of children in the UK just one less thing to worry about.
“Let’s stand together in saying that no children in the UK should be going to bed hungry. As I have said many times before, no matter your feeling or opinion, not having access to food is NEVER the child’s fault.”