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England football star Marcus Rashford backs Welsh approach to free school meals over the holidays

22 Dec 2020 3 minutes Read
Marcus Rashford. Picture by Oleg Bkhambri (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Marcus Rashford has backed the Welsh approach to providing free school meals over the holidays.

The England and Manchester United superstar praised the Welsh Government when it announced that it would be investing £23 million to guarantee free school meals during the holidays in Wales throughout all of 2021 and through to Easter 2022.

The England footballer tweeted: “A great move, congrats” and included an emoji of the Welsh flag.

Rashford, who experienced food poverty growing up, is piling on the pressure on the UK Government to do much more to tackle the issue in England. He has already forced Boris Johnson’s government into two U-turns on free school meals.

He said:” 2021 has to be the year of change and to commitment to combat child food poverty across the UK once and for all. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that any one of us could fall into unforeseen circumstances. Now is the time for action.”

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, made the announcement about free school meals yesterday.

 

‘Pandemic’ 

He said: “When this cruel and fast-moving pandemic hit Wales, we led the way in becoming the first UK nation to fully fund free school meals throughout the holidays.

“In October we went further, guaranteeing that support right up to the Easter holidays of next year because this was the right thing to do.

“And as Marcus Rashford has so passionately demonstrated, the free school meals issue is just not about hunger. It is about saying to those children: ‘You matter. You matter to us. We want you to have the very best.’”

“This isn’t simply about food. It’s about saying to those children that you are part of the society we share, and we want to invest in your future.

“And our test now is to deliver that support in the middle of this crisis. So today I can confirm that £23 million will be invested to guarantee free school meals during the holidays in Wales throughout all of 2021 and through to Easter 2022.

“This is action we can take now to provide more certainty and reassurance to those who need it the most.

“It is a moment for us to make clear to those children that we believe in them and that we will stand by them.”

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