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Free school meal vouchers extended in England following Marcus Rashford's successful campaign

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Rashford successfully pressed the government to provide free meals for needy students over the summer holidays

Sir Oliver said: "I am delighted that there will be a COVID Summer Food Fund for children who receive free school meals".

In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to extend free school meals through the summer. 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.

In an interview this morning, Grant Shapps agreed with Sky News host Kay Burley that the government's decisions put to shame by footballer Marcus Rashford, who is campaigning to keep free school meals.

"Instead, due to the selfless actions of my mum, my family, my neighbours, and my coaches, the only stats I'm associated with are goals, appearances and caps. I'm glad the Govt listened".

He wants to help the families that need it the most, knowing how it felt to go hungry, and believes the Government revising its decision could be a small step towards fighting child poverty.

"This will provide food vouchers covering the six-week holiday period".

It comes after Rashford wrote an emotional letter - a plea to MPs and the British government - in which he recounted his family's own struggles putting food on the table when he was growing up.

However, she drew criticism for her initial response to Rashford's article, which was to refute a claim he made that families might have their water cut off if they could not pay. Britain's official death toll of nearly 42,000 is the highest in Europe, and the government has been accused of putting the country into lockdown too late, costing thousands of lives, and having inadequate stocks of protective equipment.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London Tuesday
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London Tuesday

Johnson - who was hospitalized with the coronavirus in April - has performed a series of policy zigzags during the outbreak.

He said: "There are lots of food programmes across different government departments". What I would like to see is schools continue to refer parents on top of this scheme so we can ensure that there is food in the cupboards of every children's home.

Manchester United commended their striker's successful campaign, calling Rashford a "hero" and an "inspiration".

United legend Paddy Crerand added: "I'm delighted for him, it's great what he's doing, absolutely fantastic, and I hope he gets the praise he deserves", while Alex Stepney and Paul McGrath also offered their support.

"Thanks to Marcus Rashford for highlighting the importance of this support for families".

"This was never about me or you, this was never about politics, this was a cry out for help from vulnerable parents all over the country and I simply provided a platform for their voices to be heard", Rashford said on Twitter.

He wrote in The Times: "Today I focus on a trophy that stands for something much bigger than football".

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