Man United and England forward Marcus Rashford isn’t backing down in his fight to help provide reliable meals for disadvantaged children in the UK, slamming as “unacceptable” what he sees as inadequate family food rations.
Rashford has been the recipient of considerable praise for his repeated drives to help provide free school meals for children forced to learn remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic and has highlighted the issue once again after complaints from parents online.
One photograph posted by a parent showed what was supposed to be £30 worth of food to last for ten days. But the parcel comprised just a loaf of bread, cheese, a tin of beans, carrots, bananas, three apples, two potatoes and various other items.
Responding to the image, Rashford highlighted the issue and wrote that the selection was “just not good enough“.
3 days of food for 1 family…Just not good enough. pic.twitter.com/Y7FJEFFAma
And another one…😔 pic.twitter.com/hCCFCxC5HL
Where is this being rolled out? If families are entitled to £30 worth of food, why is there delivery only equating to just over £5?! 1 child or 3, this what they are receiving? Unacceptable https://t.co/SNblZ1wl5P
“Then imagine we expect the children to engage in learning from home,” he added. “Not to mention the parents who, at times, have to teach them who probably haven’t eaten at all so their children can. We MUST do better. This is 2021.”
Rashford was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s end-of-year honors list, largely due to his anti-poverty campaign which forced the UK government to announce a change in policy regarding free meals for schoolchildren during summer holidays.
Another mother joined in the chorus of complaints online, saying that she tallied the price of the food given to her to be just over £5 – and not the £30 worth of food she had been expecting.
“I could do more with £30, to be honest,” she wrote.
Rashford again petitioned the government late last year to expand the free meals program into 2021 as part of a £170 million Covid-19 winter grant scheme aimed at supporting vulnerable families.
The Department of Education swiftly made a statement following Rashford’s online complaint, writing: “We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed. Parcels should be nutritious and contain a varied range of food.”
The guidelines for the initiative state that families should receive healthy items as opposed to pre-prepared meals, allowing parents to provide nutritious meals for their children – and given Rashford’s ever-expanding influence, you can be sure that he won’t quieten down until the situation is resolved.