May 26, 2022

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Marcus Rashford: Food voucher U-turn after footballer’s project

Marcus Rashford: Food voucher U-turn after footballer’s project
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMarcus Rashford: "I'm grateful the prime minister changed his decision" About 1.3m children in England will be able to claim free school meal vouchers in the summer holidays, after a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford.The Manchester United forward, 22, welcomed the six-week voucher for eligible children, saying:…

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Media caption Marcus Rashford: “I’m grateful the prime minister changed his choice”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer stated the move was a “welcome U-turn”.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Tuesday night, Mr Rashford stated he was “grateful that the prime minister did alter his choice”.

The footballer said he spoke with Mr Johnson on the phone earlier and that the PM thanked him “for utilizing what I have actually developed in a positive manner”.

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Media caption Boris Johnson: “I just ended up being mindful of Marcus Rashford’s campaign today”

” Clearly complimentary schools meals should normally use in term time … however we have to understand the pressure that households are under right now,” he said.

” It will help the kids from the families that really need it.”

All children eligible totally free school meals in term time in England will take advantage of the “Covid summer season food fund”, Downing Street said.

Scotland and Wales will likewise continue with the coupon program, while Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster has actually said she will be proposing that the plan be crossed the summer “if the needed finances can be secured”.

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Media caption Guy Utd’s Rashford discusses mother’s sacrifices in his quote to end food poverty

The support in England exercises at about ₤15 a week per recipient, and will cost around ₤120 m.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said he was informed this was “additional funding concurred by the Treasury”.

In a declaration “to all MPs” published on Twitter, Mr Rashford said he was “grateful” that they had actually offered families “one less thing to stress over”.

For weeks, campaigners have actually been calling for free school meals to be provided during the vacations.

Lots of households whose children receive totally free meals have considering that the lockdown started been provided with either an electronic voucher or present card worth ₤15 each week per pupil, to spend at grocery stores consisting of Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S.

Nearly 1.3 million school kids in England – representing 15.4%of state-educated students – were eligible for and claiming free school meals in January 2019, according to the latest available data

Last year’s figures showed the requirement was biggest in parts of London, the north and Midlands where in between a quarter and a third of all students were getting the complimentary meals.

The prime minister’s official spokesperson said the food vouchers to cover the six-week vacation duration were an action to the “unique scenarios of the pandemic” and would not continue beyond the summer season.

Referring to Mr Rashford, he included: “The PM welcomes his contribution to the dispute around poverty and appreciates the truth that he has been using his profile as a leading sportsman to highlight essential issues.”

As a striker with a killer impulse in front of objective, Marcus Rashford is used to beating defences.

And he’s cut directly through a worried protective wall of Conservative ministers – leaving them wrong-footed and dealing with an embarrassing own objective.

A variety of Tory MPs had currently voiced their disquiet – and the number of them actually wanted to discover themselves up against an England football hero, and the threat of children going hungry?

The U-turn means the federal government will pay the additional ₤120 m to extend totally free school meal vouchers across the six weeks of the vacations, offered to 1.3 million kids.

It’s a one-off deal for the extraordinary pressure caused by the coronavirus – with food banks warning of growing demands.

But Mr Rashford, and his 2.7 million Twitter fans, showed a tough target for the federal government – and he’s beaten them with a fast-footed appeal straight to public opinion.

Previously, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey was widely criticised for a comment she made in action to Mr Rashford’s campaign.

Mr Rashford had asked others to consider struggling parents who have had their “water switched off”, and whose children have actually gone starving.

Ms Coffey responded to his Twitter thread on free school meals, saying “water can not be disconnected” – prompting the footballer to say he was “worried” she had only recognized part of his message.

Among Tory MPs applauding the U-turn was Tim Loughton, who said he was “delighted” the government had “listened to Conservative backbenchers”.

Opposition celebrations likewise welcomed the relocation – while Manchester United said Mr Rashford was a “hero”.

The children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, who wrote to the chancellor about the concern recently, said she was delighted ministers had actually “seen sense and altered their minds”.

‘ So much less stressful’

Sonja from near Basingstoke, who has 3 teenage children, stated the federal government’s change of heart was “wonderful”.

She informed BBC Radio 5 Live Drive she found herself out of work and depending on benefits due to the fact that of the pandemic.

The free school meals vouchers have been a lifeline up until now, Sonja says, including that she was grateful to Mr Rashford for his project.

“[The U-turn] eliminates that concern of the six-week summer vacation and makes it so much less demanding.” she stated.

However she included: “I feel sad that it had to be a campaign. They have actually been tossing money to keep everybody afloat however left behind people on universal credit and free school meals.”

Dev Sharma, Youth MP for Leicestershire, said the vouchers have been a safeguard for his household and expressed his delight the federal government has decided to money them over the summertime after all.

Image copyright
Bite Back 2030

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Dev Sharma is a member of the Bite Back youth campaign for much better nutrition for young people.

The 15- year-old stated the move “suggests the world” to him and his brother “to know that my mum and daddy have now enough funds to feed [us] over 6 weeks”.

” I can now have access to a decent meal and be on the same level as my peers from more affluent backgrounds,” he said.

A number of charities have actually praised Mr Rashford’s campaign.

Andrew Forsey, president of Feeding Britain, said the footballer has “done extremely well for himself, however hasn’t forgotten his roots”.

However Helen Barnard, acting director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, stated the federal government’s scheme “just covers a minority of kids in poverty and the pressures are much broader than simply school meals”.

She said “skyrocketing numbers of families” were needing to rely on foodbanks to get through the pandemic, even with the coupon scheme in location.


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