Marcus Rashford helps raise £20m for schoolkids who are missing out on free school meals

With millions of workers up and down the country either losing their jobs or having to take pay cuts, the spotlight has shifted firmly onto footballers recently to question whether they’re pulling their weight in the Coronavirus crisis.

This has been magnified by Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich furloughing non-playing staff without stating whether their playing staff will take pay cuts, much to everyone’s dismay.

And where high-profile figures within football have taken cuts to their salaries, many have questioned whether it’s too little too late.

Schoolkids are being affected by the pandemic as well, with the closure of all schools for the foreseeable future meaning that some children, who rely on free school meals, will be going out food.

In amidst all the doom and gloom though, there have been stories that have shone a better light on footballers, and one of those pulling their weight is unsurprisingly Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.

The England star this week revealed that he was working with the charity FareShare by helping them to distribute food to kids who could potentially go without if not, due to their schools being closed.

And having pleaded with the public and supermarket giants to help him with donations, the 22-year-old has raised a whopping £20m for his cause, per The Sun.

Among those supermarkets, Tesco have donated £15m in food, Asda have given him £2.5m in cash and The Co-op have pledged £1.5m in food.

Pret A Manger and Pizza Express have also answered Rashford’s call for support.

As of yesterday, a total of £160,000 had also come from the public, whilst smaller food companies around the country doing their bit too.

In addition to those donations, Rashford and his Old Trafford teammates have also committed to donating £1m to NHS hospitals in Manchester.

The money will come from them each giving just under 30 per cent of their monthly salaries.

Rashford’s passion for the cause stems from his own struggles as a youngster, with the Man Utd star revealing that he relied on free school meals as a youngster too and was concerned that 600,000 children could potentially be missing out now.

“I am just trying to impact the next generation in a positive way. I have done a lot of work with children and when I heard about the schools shutting down, I knew some kids would not be getting free meals.

“When I was at school, I was on free meals and my mum wouldn’t get home until around six o’clock so my next meal would have been about eight o’clock.

“I was fortunate. There are kids in much more difficult situations who don’t get their meals at home.”

Good to see a footballer getting into the headlines for all the right reasons as the moment.

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