Marcus Rashford "proud" at community response to free school meals campaign
"I couldn't be more proud to call myself British"
Marcus Rashford has spoken of his pride at the community response to his campaign to extend free school meal provisions throughout school holidays.
The Manchester United forward had expressed his disappointment on Wednesday night after MPs voted against Labour's bid to extend the initiative beyond term time.
'A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter because of comments that have been made today,' a statement posted to Rashford's social media said.
It later stressed: 'This is not politics, this is humanity.'
In response to the vote, countless business and local authorities have now offered to provide food for those entitled to free school meals.
Quoted by the BBC, Rashford said he has been overwhelmed by the community support, particularly with many of them struggling with the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Even at their lowest point, having felt the devastating effects of the pandemic, local businesses have wrapped arms around their communities today, catching vulnerable children as they fell.
"I couldn't be more proud to call myself British tonight."
The England international also posted a tweet which echoed these sentiments on Friday evening.
I’m signing off with a feeling a pride tonight. The superstars of this nation lie in local communities. Even after taking the biggest hits you have wrapped your arms around your community to catch children as they fell. I really can’t thank you enough, you’re amazing ♥️
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 23, 2020
News of the vote has been greeted with widespread public outcry, with a petition created which calls for an end to the subsidisation of meals for members of parliament. The petition has already attracted more than half a million signatures.
Rashford, who scored Manchester United's winner against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday night, spent some of Friday volunteering at a Manchester food bank.