England footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign got the UK government moving. Faced with the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic, the Manchester United star had asked that the poorest children benefit from free meals beyond the school period, until during the holidays.
On Sunday, the 23-year-old Mancunian striker explained that he had received a phone call from Boris Johnson the day before, just after his club’s victory against Everton in the Premier League (3-1): the Prime Minister announced to him that funds were to be released to feed more than a million children for free.
“I had a good conversation with the Prime Minister to better understand the plan he was proposing, and I welcome these measures which have been taken to fight against child food poverty,” said the footballer in a statement.
In the UK, the poorest children get free meals during school time, but not during holidays. Marcus Rashford had already made the government back down by forcing it to extend this free meal program during the summer, put in place during the confinement and closure of schools. Boris Johnson’s decision comes as a new about-face in this affair.
The British population sensitive to his approach
In October, the government refused to extend these free meals during the All Saints holiday. But Marcus Rashford’s campaign struck a chord with many Britons, especially in the run-up to Christmas, and the government has regularly found itself accused in the newspapers of being heartless.
Work and Pensions Minister Therese Coffey has announced that an additional 170 million pounds (188 million euros) will be released to finance the program during the Christmas period 2020, but also during the Easter, summer holidays and Christmas 2021.
“We want to make sure that vulnerable people feel taken care of throughout this difficult time,” she said, “and most importantly, that no one goes hungry or unable to pay their bills. this winter “.
The footballer from the north of England, where he too grew up in poverty, said he was “very proud” of those who had supported his campaign, promising to “fight for the rest of (his) life” in order to prevent little Britons from going hungry.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr