Boris Johnson bows to pressure to provide summer food fund
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has succumbed to pressure from England forward Marcus Rashford and his campaign to prevent children from going hungry during the coronavirus pandemic, by providing a summer food fund.
Before the announcement of the food fund, British ministers originally said school food vouchers would not be available over the extended summer holiday, prompting the young Manchester United forward to take matters into his own hands.
Many of the UK's poorest families whose children are eligible for free school meals have not received vouchers as promised by the government because of delays in the supply system, causing suffering, worry and anxiety for many parents and caregivers who rely on this form of government help to feed their children.
The campaign by Rashford is close to home, as he revealed he relied on such support when he was a young boy. Unfortunately, food poverty remains a widespread problem in the UK.
Using a column in the Times newspaper on Tuesday, Rashford argued that while he may not have the education of a lawmaker in parliament, he did have a social education. The footballer has already helped to raise an astounding 20 million pounds with charity Fareshare UK to supply meals to struggling families across Britain.
Johnson's spokesman said the government would be providing a COVID-19 summer food fund costing around £120m - this came before a debate in parliament, and as a number of lawmakers from the Conservative Party called for a change.
Discussing the summer food fund, Johnson's spokesman said: "Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister fully understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer".
In a state of shock, Rashford tweeted about the change in policy with: "I don't even what know to say, just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020".