The Premier League is restarting on Wednesday but Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford already has a win. After UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to let a program providing free lunches for children in lower-income families expire, Rashford was able to successfully campaign for Johnson to change his mind and extend the program through the summer.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one consequence to everything shutting down was a lack of school meals for children. For many lower-income families, in the UK or the US, that school lunch might be the one hot meal a child gets. As a result of schools being closed, parents were given a £15 ($19) voucher per week to spend on food for their children to make up for the lack of school lunches.

The program was supposed to end when the school year ended but now it has been extended. 1.3 million children throughout the country are expected to receive these vouchers and it’s on top of their regular summer program that provides meals and activities while kids are out of school.

Rashford tweeted his appreciation for what happened, saying, “There is still a long way to go but I am thankful to you all that we have given these families just one less thing to worry about tonight.”

The 22-year-old has spent the past few days campaigning for this change. Rashford detailed his own experiences relying on free school meals when he was a kid and now that he’s a star soccer player, he’s making sure other kids can benefit and thrive. If a kid is going hungry, that’s all the child is going think about. Learning about math or science doesn’t matter when they have constant hunger, and add in possible malnutrition, a program like this has future health benefits. So good on Marcus Rashford for getting UK officials to think about those who sometimes go forgotten in government.

[The Independent/Photo: Getty Images]

About Phillip Bupp

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