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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

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated Nov 24, 2020 - World

Tracking Biden's first calls to world leaders

Combination images of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: NZ Prime Minister's Office/Instagram/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

One ritual of becoming president-elect is the carousel of congratulatory phone calls with other world leaders.

What to watch: The order in which the calls are returned is watched closely around the world.

Trump's 2024 begins

Trump speaking to reporters in the White House on Thanksgiving. Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is likely to announce he'll run again in 2024, perhaps before this term even ends, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has already set in motion two important strategies to stay relevant and freeze out other Republican rivals. 

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
41 mins ago - Health

Nursing homes are still getting pummeled by the pandemic

Data: AHCA/NCAL, The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The U.S. has gotten no better at keeping the coronavirus out of nursing homes.

Why it matters: The number of nursing home cases has consistently tracked closely with the number of cases in the broader community — and that's very bad news as overall cases continue to skyrocket.