icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford’s petition to extend free school meals hits 1 MILLION signatures

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford’s petition to extend free school meals hits 1 MILLION signatures
The petition started by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford calling on the UK government to extend free school meals to children has surpassed one million signatures.

Rashford continued his campaign to end child food poverty by creating the petition on October 14, and it reached the landmark on Wednesday afternoon.

The 22-year-old was awarded an MBE earlier in the year for his efforts, and on Wednesday it was also announced that he would receive the City of Manchester Award.

Also on rt.com 'Putting the government to shame': Marcus Rashford hailed as he pursues free meals for kids despite MPs' refusal to back plan

Following recommendations from the National Food Strategy, Rashford’s petition calls for the government to “expand free school meals to all under-16s where a parent or guardian is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent benefit” and to “provide meals and activities during all holidays.”

His petition also asks that the value of Healthy Start vouchers - which are given to pregnant women and families with young children to spend on milk, fruit and vegetables - increase from £3.10 ($4.03) to “at least £4.25 per week.”

The UK government provided free school meals to children over the Easter holidays this year and performed a U-turn to do so again in the summer amid Rashford’s high-profile campaign.

However, the government has said it will not do so again and last week Conservative MPs defeated a Labour motion calling for free school meals to be provided over the holidays through to next Easter by 322 votes to 261.

Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard said Labour will “force another vote on this” if the government does not perform a U-turn on the issue as it did in the summer.

Rashford, who grew up on free school meals in Manchester, is gearing up to face RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

The England international has netted four times in eight matches for the Red Devils in all competitions this season, including a late winner against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League when they met last week, as well as contributing two assists. 

Also on rt.com 'He's KILLING them with PR': Fans praise huge earner Ozil after discovering that Arsenal outcast funds THOUSANDS of school meals

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.