Marcus Rashford wants public support to children going hungry

Marcus Rashford MBE urges the public to support petition to stop children going hungry Credit: PA

England International and Manchester United star, Marcus Rashford MBE has launched a petition calling on the Government to support vulnerable children.

Right now, a generation who have already been penalised during this pandemic with lack of access to educational resources are now back in school struggling to concentrate due to worry and the sound of their rumbling stomachs. Whatever your feeling, opinion, or judgement, food poverty is never the child's fault.

Marcus Rashford MBE

The petition wants Ministers to commit to implement 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy:

  • Expansion of free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 1.5million 7-16 year olds

  • Expansion of holiday provision (food and activities) to support all children on free school meals, reaching an additional 1.1million children

  • Increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week (from £3.10) and expanding into all those on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 290,000 pregnant women and children under the age of 4

The #endchildfoodpoverty campaign is supported by the Child Food Poverty Task Force which was formed by Marcus Rashford and 20 charities and key names in the food industry. 

18%

of 8-17 year olds experienced food insecurity over the summer holidays

Food insecurity includes:

  • Having to eat less and make food last longer because of lack of money to buy more (6%

  • Parents not eating because there wasn’t enough food at home (5%)

  • Children being hungry but not eating to avoid using up food at home (4%)

  • Not eating a proper meal due to lack of money for food (4%)

  • Eating at a friend’s house because there wasn’t enough food at home (3%).

6.3 %

of children said they were worried about going hungry during the October half term.

My friends who have free school meals during term time already face being bullied about it, but at least they get the meal they need. But during the holidays, when we hang out together, they are clearly ashamed that they don’t have enough money to buy basics, like a drink or a bite to eat. This can really divide kids and make those that go without feel excluded.

Tyler, who's 15 and from Blackburn