18 June 2020 - Boris Johnson makes U-turn on free school meals after footballer Marcus Rashford's campaign
Marcus Rashford: Food voucher U-turn after footballer's campaign
(BBC News, 16/06/2020)
About 1.3m children in England will be able to claim free school meal vouchers in the summer holidays, after a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford.
The Manchester United forward, 22, welcomed the six-week voucher for eligible children, saying: "Look at what we can do when we come together."
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the move was a "welcome U-turn".
Bravo Marcus Rashford. But it shouldn’t have taken a footballer to show the serious food poverty in this country
James Moore (The Independent, 17/06/2020)
He’s a 22-year-old footballer. He shouldn’t be the one having to do this.” This was the opinion of Gary Lineker on the subject of Marcus Rashford’s successful campaign to extend school meal vouchers through the summer holidays.
And he’s right. It shouldn’t have required the Manchester United and England striker to make the point. But it was necessary.
Rashford is a rarity in modern Britain: he’s a prominent figure who knows what it’s like to rely on free school meals, and sometimes on food banks.
The Guardian view on Marcus Rashford's triumph: a political masterclass
Editorial (The Guardian, 16/06/2020)
This Friday, Marcus Rashford will hope to play a starring role for Manchester United, as his team resumes its interrupted Premier League campaign. Even if the 22-year-old striker scores a match-winning hat-trick, it will still not come close to being his best performance of the week.
On Monday, Mr Rashford published an open letter to MPs. In it he called for an extension, through the summer holidays, of the voucher scheme that has provided children from poorer families with free meals during lockdown. With cool condescension, Downing Street initially let it be known that, though the footballer had used his fame to “highlight some very important issues”, Boris Johnson would not be taking up his idea. The scheme, it was needlessly pointed out, ordinarily operated only during term time.
Marcus Rashford: a brief history of free school meals in the UK
Regina Keith (The Conversation, 17/06/2020)
Following a campaign led by the England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, the UK government has committed to providing free school meals to children in England during the 2020 summer holidays.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on household food security. A poll by the charity the Food Foundation has found that 200,000 children are now missing meals.