Footballers are often described as role models but there’s no bigger role model in any sport right now than Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford.
The 22-year-old, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list earlier this month, has campaigned tirelessly in recent months in an attempt to help feed England’s vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic.
Back in June, Rashford successfully forced the UK government to perform a U-turn over providing food vouchers for some of England’s poorest families.
But a renewed campaign saw MPs reject Labour’s plea for free schools meals to be extended over the holidays.
A motion on providing 1.4 million disadvantaged children in England with £15-a-week food vouchers during holidays until Easter 2021 was voted down - to the dismay of many.
Rashford vented his “despair” on Wednesday night, after news of the MPs’ vote filtered through, adding: “Put aside all the noise, the digs, the party politics, and let’s focus on the reality. A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter because of comments that have been made today.
“We must stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers. Our views are being clouded by political affiliation. This is not politics, this is humanity…
“I don’t have the education of a politician, many on Twitter have made that clear today, but I have a social education having lived through this and having spent time with the families and children most affected. These children matter.”
But Rashford, who scored Man United’s winning goal against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League earlier this week, has continued his admirable campaign via social media.
The striker is currently retweeting businesses from up and down the country who have offered to replace free school meals over half term.
On Thursday, Rashford visited a food bank with his mum as part of his ongoing campaign to stop child food poverty in the UK.
The pair visited FareShare Greater Manchester's new food depot at New Smithfield Market, which has been named after Rashford's mum Melanie.
In a tweet on Thursday evening, Rashford announced it is now called Melanie Maynard House.
Full credit to Rashford. He’s truly a remarkable young man.
The youngster is acutely aware of what many children in England are currently experiencing, hence his determination to use his profile to help those in need.
“I remember the sound of my mum crying herself to sleep to this day,” Rashford wrote in a letter to MPs a few weeks ago, “having worked a 14-hour shift, unsure how she was going to make ends meet.”
“When we stumble, there will always be a community to pick us up," he said. "For many that’s a food bank.”
While it’s not particularly important, it would be a travesty if Rashford doesn’t end the year with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
We could all learn a thing or two from him.
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