Nov 8, 2020 - World

U.K. to back child poverty fund following petition from soccer star

Marcus Rashford celebrating.

Marcus Rashford. Photo: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The British government will spend £170 million ($220 million) on providing free meals to poor children and their families during the holidays, following a child hunger campaign by soccer star Marcus Rashford, AP reports.

The big picture: The program was spurred by a petition from the 23-year-old Manchester United forward and garnered more than 1 million signatures after initially being rejected by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government. It will affect nearly 1.7 million children in the U.K. over the next 12 months, Rashford said.

  • It's the second time Rashford has pressured Johnson's government into changing its child poverty policies, convincing the government to extend a voucher program for free school meals over the summer.
  • "I had a good conversation with the prime minister to better understand the proposed plan, and I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK,” Rashford tweeted Sunday.
Go deeper