Footballer fights for free school meals

Goal! Marcus Rashford has scored over 74 times for Manchester United and England. © Getty

Do we need more people like Marcus Rashford? The Manchester United striker is one of the most popular players in the country. Now, he is using his fame to stop children going hungry.

What’s happening

He started playing for his local team aged five. Seventeen years later, he is a Premier League star with 38 international caps. But Marcus Rashford is not only a sporting inspiration. Remembering his own difficult childhood, he has successfully campaigned against food poverty during the lockdown.

Find out more

During the coronavirus pandemic, the government has been providing vouchers to children who usually have free school meals. These were due to stop at the end of term – until Marcus Rashford wrote to MPs urging them to change their decision.

He described how he had grown up in poverty, relying on food banks and breakfast clubs. His mother worked full-time, but it was “not enough”. Rashford explained that he did not want others to suffer like him.

The letter worked. Last week, the voucher scheme was extended. Boris Johnson praised the athlete for using his fame in a positive way. The striker has previously shown his kindness by buying his mother a luxury house to thank her for supporting him.

Do we need more people like Marcus Rashford?

Some say…

We shouldn’t need more people like him. Looking after children who are hungry and living in poverty is the job of the government. It is a shame that a famous footballer has had to fight for people in need to get free school meals during the lockdown. Rashford is an inspiration, but it is our leaders who should be providing help, not individuals.

Others think…

Of course, we do! He represents hope in this difficult time. The actions of one person have affected thousands of children in need. Rashford is also an example of how you can succeed after a hard childhood. Not only this, he has remembered his background, and really wants to help people. We would be lucky to have more role models like him.

You Decide

  1. Is success just about earning lots of money?

Activities

  1. Make your own Top Trumps card about Marcus Rashford and his most important achievements.

Some People Say...

“I’ve been able to see the top and the bottom of life, and I think it’s important to remember where you came from.”

Venus Williams, American tennis player

What do you think?

Word Watch

International caps
A cap is a term for the player’s appearances at international games.
Food poverty
The inability to afford or have access to food.
MPs
Short for Members of Parliament. An MP is somebody who has been elected to represent their area of the country, called a constituency.
Food banks
A place where food is given out free of charge to people in need.
Striker
A football player who often stays forward in an attempt to score goals.
Gratitude
Rashford is grateful to his mother. He says that without her support, he could not have been successful.

Subjects

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