Marcus Rashford has pledged to continue the fight after the Prime Minister rejected his campaign for free school meals over half-term.
The Manchester United star had called for vouchers for October’s half-term break and at Christmas following a successful bid in the summer which forced the government into an embarrassing U-turn.
But the prime minister’s spokesman insisted it would not be repeated – despite the spread of tougher restrictions across England, as coronavirus infections surge – insisting: “We are in a different position now.”
No 10 rejects @MarcusRashford campaign for free school meals over half-term.— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) October 15, 2020
“We’re in a different position now with schools back open to all pupils… It's not for schools to provide food for pupils during the school holidays.“
Isn’t this what happened last time?
“For too long this conversation has been delayed. Child food poverty in the UK is not a result of Covid-19. We must act with urgency to stabilise the households of our vulnerable children,” he said.
After the PM rejected his campaign he said child poverty is “not going away anytime soon and neither am I”, suggesting the government could be in for another tussle.
Merry Christmas kids…— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 15, 2020
It’s also not for food banks to feed millions of British children but here we are. 250% increase in food poverty and rising…
This is not going away anytime soon and neither am I… https://t.co/dCwT07WShz
The campaign comes as charity Food Foundation has released data which suggests nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of eight to 17-year-olds reported experiences of food insecurity over the summer holidays.
Extrapolated to reflect the UK population, this suggests 1.4 million children are experiencing food insecurity.
Rashford said: “Today, millions of children are finding themselves in the most vulnerable of environments and are beginning to question what it really means to be British.
“I’m calling on you all today to help me prove to them that being British is something to be proud of.”