Just days after it was launched, almost a million people have signed Marcus Rashford’s petition asking for an expansion of the free school meals scheme over the school holidays until Easter 2021.
Despite facing resistance from Downing Street, Marcus is to be applauded for continuing to champion extending the scheme through all the school holidays for all children whose families receive Universal Credit. A positive government response would mean the meals would reach an additional 1.5 million children aged 7 to 16.
Aratrust echoes Marcus Rashford’s call for more people to sign the petition saying: “Let’s prove to these 1.5 million vulnerable children that being British is something to be proud of”.
Earlier this year, Marcus successfully campaigned for the government to keep paying for the £15-a-week food vouchers over the summer, to feed the 1.5 million hungry children living in vulnerable families in the UK. At that time Marcus persuaded the government to change its policy and provide vouchers to families whose children qualify for free meals.
Aratrust stands with Marcus Rashford when he gives us a timely reminder about the effect of the current pandemic on the next generation, saying: “Right now, a generation who have already been penalised during this pandemic with lack of access to educational resources are now back in school struggling to concentrate due to worry and the sound of their rumbling stomachs. Whatever your feeling, opinion, or judgment, food poverty is never the child’s fault. Let’s protect our young. Let’s wrap arms around each other and stand together to say that this is unacceptable, that we are united in protecting our children”.
Aratrust says: “Marcus Rashford is an inspiring role model for our young people! He is someone who will stand up to be counted and is prepared to make the personal sacrifices to help others! To support the cause, sign the petition here!”