#COVID19: UK Govt Rejects Marcus Rashford’s Free School Meals Plea

June 16, 2020
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The government of the United Kingdom (UK) has rejected a plea from Manchester United star Marcus Rashford to continue the free school meals scheme during the summer holidays.

In an open letter on Monday morning, Rashford urged MPs to reconsider plans to not extend the current food voucher.

In the letter, Rashford narrated his own experiences of receiving free school meals.

The Manchester United and England striker said the letter was “written from the heart” and pleaded for authorities to let vulnerable children to continue receiving the free school means during summer.

But the Prime Minister and Department for Education have said the scheme will end with the school term.

A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “The PM understands the issues facing families across the UK which is why last week the government announced an additional £63m for local authorities to benefit families who are struggling to afford food and other basic essentials.”

The Prime Minister said he expects schools to make food parcels available for collection or delivery and schools can continue to offer vouchers to eligible pupils.

But the government will not be funding the provision in the same way during the holidays and Labour warns the funding is not nearly enough to cover the estimated £115m cost of providing free school meals.

The spokesman said the Prime Minister will respond to Marcus Rashford’s letter as soon as he can.

He added: “He’s been using his profile in a positive way to highlight some very important issues.”

The ongoing pandemic spread to the UK in late January 2020. As of 15 June 2020 there have been 296,857 confirmed cases and 41,736 deaths of confirmed cases, the world’s second-highest death-rate per capita.

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