England footballer Marcus Rashford lent his support to Greenwich Council’s scheme to offer free meals to children in need this half term by promoting it on social media this morning.
The council has offered free meals during school holidays for two years, and is doing so again next week at Woolwich library, Woolwich adventure play centre, Glyndon adventure play centre in Plumstead, Meridian adventure play centre in Greenwich and Coldharbour adventure playground in Mottingham.
The Manchester United forward helped promote the scheme this morning along with others around the country, the day after Conservative MPs voted down a Labour motion in parliament calling for disadvantaged children in England to be given £15-a-week food vouchers. Since then, a stream of businesses have offered their own help, and Rashford has been promoting their efforts and as well as their own schemes.
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 23, 2020
Rashford, who has spoken of his own experiences of poverty while growing up in Wythenshawe, Manchester, has previously led a successful successful campaign to provide food vouchers over the six-week summer holidays. Yesterday he helped launch a food bank depot in Greater Manchester for the charity FareShareUK, named Melanie Maynard House after his mother.
Council leader Danny Thorpe said on social media: “I was appalled by the scenes in parliament. Politics is about people and so many people need help right now. We have been running this scheme for a number of years and it’s more important than ever right now. Tonight 43% of Greenwich kids are going to bed in poverty. We have nearly 700 more kids on free school meals since September. 41,700 employees in our borough are furloughed.”
Southwark Council is also running a free meals scheme, as is Lambeth. Lewisham followed suit later on Friday afternoon, while appeal to raise funds to feed needy children in the borough has so far raised over £20,000.
To find out more about the Greenwich free meals scheme, visit royalgreenwich.gov.uk/holidaymeals.
Story updated at 5.40pm to include Lewisham’s scheme.
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