Boris Johnson has rejected a petition from Marcus Rashford to see the school feeding program extended over half term and Christmas holidays. The Prime Minister indicated that there is nothing he can do to keep the program alive.
The Manchester United and England forward had previously launched similar petitions that called for the government to extend school meals to summers and holidays when schools had already shutdown. These petitions had received support from Members of Parliament and the parliament that saw school meals offered in schools during summers and when schools were shut down.
Boris Johnson against the extension
However, Boris Johnson argued that the country was now in a different place than it was a few months ago, highlighting that extending school meals would not be possible. He indicated that in the past, when the program was extended, schools were already shut down and hence the need to offer help to students.
However, schools are now fully reopened to all students across the UK, and Boris Johnson argued that students were now not restricted to stay at home. A spokesman for the office of the Prime Minister said that it was not the responsibility of schools to regularly provide pupils with food during school holidays. He continued by saying that the best way to support the children going through hardships during the holidays was through the universal credit rather than the government-subsidized school meals.
Marcus Rashford, who was recently awarded the MBE, hit back at the office of the Prime Minister through his twitter account by sharing a Merry Christmas message and reminding the government that it was also not the responsibility of food banks to provide food for the students, and indicated that the food poverty rate had already risen in the country by more than 250 percent.
Rashford also added that, in the current environment, millions of children in the UK were finding themselves in the most vulnerable situations such as food poverty and are beginning to question what it really meant to be British. The footballer has vowed to continue with his push for eradicating children’s food poverty across the UK and has said that he will continue petitioning the government to do more to children going hungry in the UK.
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