Marcus Rashford

Rashford forms task force to fight child poverty

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has stepped up his efforts to tackle childhood poverty by forming a task force with leading figures from the food industry.

The 22-year-old, who successfully lobbied the UK government during lockdown to provide free school meals for children over the summer holidays, is once again calling on MPs to take decisive action and help those most in need.

Marcus and the new task force have sent an open letter to all UK MPs, as you can see below...

The task force are calling for three national food strategy policy recommendations, which are:

  • Expansion of free school meals to every child from a household on universal credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 1.5 million children aged between seven and 16.

  • Expansion of holiday provision (food and activities) to support all children on free school meals, reaching an additional 1.1 million children.

  • Increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week (from £3.10) and expanding into all those on universal credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 290,000 pregnant women and children under the age of four.

In the statement released by the task force in video form, they added: “The intention and objective of the task force is to see sufficient funds from the Chancellor’s Budget and Spending Review allocated to implement the three policy recommendations.”
 
Speaking to the BBC about his long-term aim of alleviating childhood poverty in the UK, Marcus said: “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.

 

“We wanted to do it the best way we could, by introducing the best people into our group, and using them to push it even more.

At times, I feel that people think they are being looked down on if they ask for help. I think, in this generation, that is something that should change.

 

Marcus added: “You should feel free if you want to ask for help for anything. Hold your head up high and if you need help, go and get help.”

Recommended: