Marcus Rashford & celebrity chefs call for free school meals review

The Voice reports that English professional footballer and philanthropist of Kittitian descent has called for a review into free school meal parcels by the government. He has been joined by some of the UK’s top celebrity chefs in a call to end “child food poverty.”

Rashford has had support from the likes Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tom Kerridge, who have written to the Prime Minister asking him to “fix” the system and implement a strategy to end “child food poverty.”

Their demands come after outraged parents who had received the poorly contained parcels posted them on Twitter during the UK’s third lockdown, which Labour Leader, Keir Starmer, described as “woefully inadequate.”

The social media outcry prompted PM Boris Johnson to admit that the free school meal parcels were “sub-standard” and further investigations were subsequently launched by the Department of Education and the Children’s Minister, Vicky Ford.

The Manchester United striker, who relied on free school meals throughout his childhood, has campaigned for vulnerable families to receive free school meals since the UK’s first lockdown, and prompted the government to U-turn over their decision to not provide free school meal provision over the summer.

Now, the 23-year-old along with his partnership with End Child Food Poverty have asked the government to conduct a review into whether free school meals are available to enough families, whether there is enough funding and what lessons can be learned from the pandemic’s impact on low-income families.

A Downing Street spokesperson has responded to the uprising in support of Rashford’s ongoing campaign, and said: “It is great that celebrities and groups across society see the importance of school food. The PM thanks Marcus Rashford for his letter and will reply soon. “School food is essential in supporting the health and learning of the most disadvantaged pupils. The prime minister has been clear that no child will ever go hungry as a result of the pandemic”.

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