England forward Marcus Rashford is a very happy man following government decision to provide free meals to disadvantaged children during Christmas holidays.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson phoned Rashford on Saturday to alert him to the decision to lay on £170million of extra funding for the measure.
The 23-year-old received the call after he played in United’s 3-1 Premier League win against Everton at Goodison Park.
Rashford said he was “so proud” of those who had united behind his campaign and that he was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of empathy and understanding”, promising his supporters to “fight for the rest of my life” to end child hunger in the UK.
In a statement, he added: “Following the game today, I had a good conversation with the Prime Minister to better understand the proposed plan, and I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK.
“There is still so much more to do, and my immediate concern is the approximate 1.7 million children who miss out on free school meals, holiday provision and Healthy Start vouchers because their family income isn’t quite enough, but the intent the Government have shown today is nothing but positive and they should be recognised for that.
“The steps made today will improve the lives of near 1.7 million children in the UK over the next 12 months, and that can only be celebrated.”
The funds will pay for the Covid Winter Grant Scheme to support families over the season while the Holiday Activities and Food programme will be extended to cover the Easter, summer and Christmas breaks in 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced.
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Rashford further expressed his gratitude on Sunday, tweeting: “To the campaigners, charity workers, volunteers, teachers, care workers, key workers, that have fought for this level of progress for years, thank you. This is your victory. Never underestimate the role you have all played. I’m just honoured to be on this journey with you.”