Marcus Rashford fronts charity campaign to boost take up of holiday meals scheme

England striker Marcus Rashford is fronting a charity campaign to encourage take up of the government’s £220m holiday activities and food programme.

The Manchester United forward and foot poverty campaigner is starring in a Food Foundation video urging parents to sign up to the initiative.



The programme is offering free food and meals to pupils eligible for free school meals during the summer holidays.

However, the charity has found that awareness of the initiative is low, particularly among disadvantaged families.

The Foundation found that less than a quarter (24%) of parents have heard of the holiday activities and food programme.

Less than half (43%) of parents with children eligible for free school meals are aware of the scheme.

“I know only too well that the holidays can be a really difficult time for families who are struggling,” said Rashford.

“It’s such a weight off their shoulders to know that there is a safe space for their children to go, where their minds can be stimulated, and where they are guaranteed at least one meal a day.”

The film also features pupils and was filmed at schools in Leeds, London and Button Lane primary school in Manchester, where Rashford went to school.

“The pandemic has hit the most vulnerable and disadvantaged the hardest, with food poverty at the heart of the difficulties for many families,” said Food Foundation chief executive Anna Taylor.

“It’s absolutely crucial that we are supporting our young people so that they can overcome these challenges and thrive.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


How to elevate your non-profit storytelling with data and performance metrics.
Sage Intacct the non-profit financial management platform, takes a look at giving trends and insights.

What has the pandemic taught us about the public’s perception of charities?
In this episode of the Charity Times Leadership podcast, we take a look at what the pandemic has taught us about the public’s perception of charities. Charity fundraising platform, Enthuse, recently released its quarterly donor research study, which highlighted significant shifts in donor behaviour throughout the duration of the pandemic. Not only does the report highlight an overarching sense of positivity towards the sector, but a propensity for younger generations to give more generously, too. Lauren Weymouth is joined by Enthuse CEO, Chester Mojay-Sinclare to discuss more.

The importance of the ‘S’ in ‘ESG’
In this episode, Lauren Weymouth is joined by Ketan Patel, equities fund manager at EdenTree, to delve into the issue of social investment and why that all-important ‘S’ in ESG is more relevant now than ever before. The social element of ESG often gets forgotten when thinking about investing in more ethical and sustainable ways. But, after a challenging year for all areas of society, social injustice has been highlighted, and there’s a much greater need for charities to put people at the heart of their investment decisions.