Rashford's campaign leads to UK Government U-turn on free school meals

Marcus Rashford pleaded with the United Kingdom government to extend its food voucher scheme, and his campaign has worked.

Rashford's campaign leads to UK Government U-turn on free school meals

The United Kingdom government has extended its food voucher scheme for vulnerable school children following a campaign led by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.

England international Rashford wrote a letter to members of the House of Commons on Monday imploring them not to stop free school meals for disadvantaged children when term finishes. 

Vouchers were given out over the Easter holiday because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the scheme normally only runs during term time and so was due to end next month.

However, Rashford's campaign to force the government to rethink its approach received widespread support on social media and has now resulted in Downing Street making a U-turn.

Rashford stands up for the hardest hit members of society

"Owing to the coronavirus pandemic the prime minister fully understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer," a spokesperson for prime minister Boris Johnson said.

"To reflect this we will be providing a Covid summer food fund, this will provide food vouchers over the six-week summer holiday period.

"This is a specific measure to reflect the unique circumstances of the pandemic. The scheme will not continue beyond the summer."

Rashford reacted to the news on Twitter, saying: "I don't even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020."

Johnson personally affected by coronavirus

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalised with Covid-19 earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, with his situation so serious that he was taken to intensive care. NHS consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said at the time, as reported in the Daily Mail, that Johnson was likely so badly affected because he is "significantly overweight", pointing out that other slimmer members of the cabinet had recovered more quickly and were not hospitalised.