Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has kickstarted an effort to help children in food poverty.
Rashford was disappointed to see the government vote down a bill in Parliament which would have obliged them to feed children whose carers could not afford to feed them over the winter holiday.
The government had previously carried out the service for a previous holiday over lockdown, with Rashford again being the driving force behind the pressure to make the Conservative government act.
However he has had so such success this week, with Labour’s motion to provide 1.4 million children with £15 a week in food vouchers defeated by the Tories. Some MPs complained such an act would be tantamount to nationalising children and could devalue the currency with the required spending of £22 million. Some commentators argued that ensuring children are fed is not the role of the state.
In response, tens of restaurants, bars and cafes let Rashford know that they would take it upon themselves to provide food for disadvantaged children, and the England striker spent much of Thursday night signposting these resources on his Twitter feed.
On Thursday evening, Rashford said: “Blown away by news of local businesses stepping up to fill the voucher scheme deficit during the October half term. Selflessness, kindness, togetherness, this is the England I know,.
“Add #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY to your tweets so I can track them. I will share as many as I can.”
Offers came from across the North of England and elsewhere. The northern region of England has been hit hardest economically by the Tier 3 restrictions placed on the are in response to a rise in coronavirus infections, with complaints that the government has done little to ensure that those affected are sufficiently financially supported. Manchester itself is now under Tier 3 restrictions, the toughest rules England has enforced since the first lockdown.