Rashford says UK response to food poverty campaign lacks empathy


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(Reuters) – Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has said he was disappointed by the British government’s “lack of empathy” over calls to help tackle hunger among children.

The England international forward formed a taskforce with major food brands to help tackle child food poverty, writing an open letter to parliament endorsing three policy recommendations of the National Food Strategy earlier this month.

The points included expanding free school meals to children whose families are on universal credit, expanding holiday provision to all children on free school meals, and increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers.

But Rashford said that the written response from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson only listed the government’s existing child poverty policies.

“I am disappointed by the lack of empathy shown in recent weeks towards protecting our most vulnerable, the future of this country,” Rashford told the BBC on Saturday.

“I didn’t have the education of a politician, I have never claimed to have all of the answers – but I have a voice and I’ll continue to use it for the millions who are not being heard.

“The drive of myself and the taskforce to see these three government policies implemented without delay is stronger than ever… Letting millions of children in the UK go hungry at night is only an issue of humanity. We need to do better.”

Rashford had earned widespread praise after the 22-year-old successfully campaigned for school food vouchers to be provided over the summer holidays in Britain, revealing that he too had relied on such support as a boy.

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