Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford says helping children is his top priority after working to get food to those who relied on free school meals.

The 22-year-old has been working with charity FareShare to help children in the Manchester area after schools were closed across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And he revealed that his own childhood has inspired him to want to make a difference to the next generation.

Rashford told BBC Breakfast: "In the past I have done a lot of work in regards to children and when I heard about the school's shutting down, I knew that meant free meals for some kids that they are not getting at school.

"I remember when I was at school I was on free meals and my Mum wouldn't get home until around six o'clock so my next meal would have been about 8 o'clock. I was fortunate, and there are kids in much more difficult situations that don't get their meals at homes.

Marcus Rashford
Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images

Manchester United and Manchester City have joined forces to donate and help people in the local area affected by the pandemic.

"I think when times are tough it is important that two clubs who have a huge social following that we do come together and make a difference when things which are bigger than football happen. So credit to both clubs," Rashford said.

Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

Prior to the outbreak, Rashford had begun judging a poetry competition for Manchester children with hearing impairments.

He has vowed to hand out the awards in person when the restrictions are lifted and also revealed how important reading is in his life.

"As soon as this is finished I will go to the school, see the kids and give them the awards from the competition," Rashford added.

When the season was suspended due to the outbreak, Rashford was sidelined after suffering a double stress fracture in his back in January.

The forward says he is making good progress but admits he is missing football.