Marcus Rashford given MBE in birthday honours for school meals campaign

Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford has been awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable children in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rashford, 22, successfully forced the Government into a U-turn over its free school meals policy during lockdown. His efforts ensured that many children throughout Britain would receive meals throughout the summer.

The footballer urges Prime Minister Boris Johnson to extend the school meals scheme as he accepted an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

In a statement, Rashford said (via Sky Sports): “I’m incredibly honoured and humbled. Aa a young black man from Wythenshawe, never did I think I would be accepting an MBE, never mind an MBE at the end of 22. This is a very special moment for myself and my family, but particularly my mum who is the real deserving recipient of the honour.

“The fight to protect our most vulnerable children is far from over. I would be doing my community, and the families I have met and spoken with, an injustice if I didn’t use this opportunity to respectfully urge the Prime Minister, who recommended me for this honour, to support our children during the October half term with an extension of the voucher scheme, as the furlough scheme comes to an end and we face increased unemployment. Another sticking plaster, but one that will give the parents of millions of children in the UK just one less thing to worry about.

“Let’s stand together in saying that no children in the UK should be going to bed hungry. As I have said many times before, no matter your feeling or opinion, not having access to food is NEVER the child’s fault.”

Meanwhile, ESPN have carried out research and have found out that Rashford is the most trolled footballer in the Premier League on Twitter.

What more can he do?

An improvement on the pitch would be nice but I can see that coming with time. We can’t forget how serious the injury was that he suffered last season.

Johnson said (via The Guardian): “This year’s honours recipients are a testament to the sort of country we are – caring, compassionate and resolute in the face of a global pandemic. The hard work and dedication of these local, often unsung heroes has helped carry us through. I congratulate them all.”

Moreover, the government said this year’s list was the most diverse in honours history, with black and minority ethnic recipients making up 13% of the total, up from 12% in 2019.

A total of 4,000 nominations were received from the public from May onwards.

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