Marcus Rashford: UK Government has 'done what is right' after free school meals U-turn

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Marcus Rashford said the United Kingdom government has "done what is right" after making a U-turn and extending its food voucher scheme to vulnerable children.

Earlier this week Manchester United and England striker Rashford wrote to members of parliament imploring the government not to stop free school meals for disadvantaged kids when term finishes.

Vouchers were given out over the Easter holiday due to the coronavirus pandemic but the scheme only normally runs during term time and so was set to end from next month.

However, following Rashford's letter, which received widespread support on social media, the government announced a six-week £120million COVID summer food fund that is thought to benefit around 15 per cent of state school pupils.

Rashford wrote a message on Twitter that he addressed "to all MPs", saying: "This was never about me or you, this was never about politics, this was a cry out for help from vulnerable parents all over the country and I simply provided a platform for their voices to be heard.

"I stand proud today knowing that we have listened, and we have done what is right.

"There is still a long way to go but I am thankful to you all that we have given these families just one less thing to worry about tonight.

"The wellbeing of our children should ALWAYS be a priority."

Rashford, who has also helped charity FareShare reach a goal of supplying three million meals by the end of June, had spoken about his own reliance on free school meals and food banks growing up.

The 22-year-old had continued to push for change despite Downing Street initially reiterating that the scheme would end when schools closed for the holidays.

As well as being praised by Labour leader Keir Starmer and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, United also paid tribute to their striker.

"A hero. An inspiration. One of our own. We are so proud of you, MarcusRashford," the Premier League club wrote on Twitter.

England also wrote a message of support on Twitter, saying: "Amazing to see your efforts rewarded and to know so many will benefit. We're so proud of you, Marcus."