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Rashford continues UK food campaign

International 02 Sep, 2020 Follow News

Marcus Rashford is continuing to help UK child poverty

Footballer Marcus Rashford has formed a taskforce with some of the UK's biggest food brands to try to help reduce child food poverty.

The 22-year-old Manchester United forward successfully campaigned to extend free school meals this summer from the government after raising over £20 million (KY$22.3m) from private sources to keep the campaign going. The U-turn enabled about 1.3m children in England to claim vouchers over the holidays, with the support working out as about £15 ($17) a week for each child.

He has spoken about his own experiences of using a food voucher scheme as a child and was praised for pressing the government into a U-turn on the issue. He has written to MPs, outlining the help he feels some families still need.

The group of supermarkets, businesses and charities - including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Deliveroo, FareShare, Food Foundation, Iceland, Kellogg's, Lidl, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose - have formed a taskforce and backed proposals from the National Food Strategy, an independent review of UK food policy.

Rashford said he was "confident" the group could help change lives "for the better". Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said the move to extend free school meals over the summer had been a "short-term solution" to stopping children from going hungry, but it "wasn't going to work in the long run".

"We had to think about the best way to do it, to think about how these families can eat long term and not have any issues," he said.

Rashford is hoping that, with a bigger team of experts around him, he might be able to help more children.

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