Manchester United's Marcus Rashford speaks out on stigma of asking for help

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford Credit: PA

Marcus Rashford has spoken out about the stigma of asking for help as he launches a task force to tackle food poverty amongst children.

During the summer, the Manchester United player was successful in forcing the government into a u-turn to provide free school meal vouchers to pupils over the summer.

Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Rashford told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that he had spoken with families who had benefited from the food vouchers during the summer.

"Over the last few weeks I've spoken to families we've helped and those who need help and it's taken it one step further," he said.

"I believe if people heard their voices like I heard their voices then they would want to join the task force and make life easier for them."

The task force is made up of supermarkets, businesses and charities, including - Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Deliveroo, FareShare, Food Foundation, Iceland, Kellogg's, Lidl, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

The group are endorsing three national food strategy policy recommendations, including the expansion of free schools meals to every child on Universal Credit.

Explaining what it can be like for children to go hungry during the school day, Rashford said it can be the start of "different pathways" including homelessness and crime, he said:

"If you're not eating you just have no energy, you don't feel comfortable going to school.

"Most of the times, the ones that aren't eating, they just sleep all day at school because they're physically drained."

"It can be the beginning of homelessness or crime and it starts so many different pathways that you don't want your children to go down."

The 22-year-old England striker recently criticised a Conservative MP for his comments on child hunger.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, was praising the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme when he replied to a comment, saying: “Where they can, it’s a parents’ job to feed their children.”

Mr Rashford explained that the comment could prevent families from asking for help.

"I've always been brought up that if you need help and someone is in a position to help then you should feel comfortable to ask them and my response was just trying to reiterate that," Rashford said.

"We actually need people to ask for help in order to get them the help that they need."

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