Activism

‘Is it fair people go hungry? No’ Marcus Rashford backs Right to Food cause

The Manchester United striker has thrown his weight behind the campaign for a legal right to food in the UK to the delight of football fan food bank groups

Rashford Right to Food

Newcastle supporters are among the football fans who backed a Right to Food. Image credit: NUFC Fans Foodbank/Ken Narita

Marcus Rashford has given his support to the Right to Food campaign demanding people are given the right to avoid hunger as his own food poverty campaign continues to grow.

Speaking during the launch for his new venture to help families cook healthy meals with Healthy Start vouchers, the Manchester United and England striker insisted he backed efforts from Labour MP Ian Byrne, food campaigners and football fans across the country.

“Yeah 100 per cent,” said Rashford when asked if he supports the campaign. “If we just forgot about everything right now: is it fair that people go hungry? No it’s not fair.

“I want to get it to the stage where in the worst case scenario, the worst thing could happen in the world, at least everybody goes to bed eating meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, that’s my aim.”

We’re all fighting for the same thingNick Clarke, MCFC Fans Foodbank Support

Both Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty Taskforce and the campaign for a Right to Food have seen growing support throughout the pandemic.

Rashford’s child food poverty battle has driven the UK Government to U-turns over free school meals during holidays while he has also boosted the value of Health Start vouchers and inspired Brits around the country to prevent kids going hungry.

The Right to Food campaign has gone from strength to strength too. Led by Liverpool West Derby MP Byrne, local authorities in Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle have signed up to become ‘Right to Food cities’ in recent months. Councils across the country have been asked to back the motion with Preston and York the latest cities to consider their support this week.

Byrne has also called for a legal right to food to be incorporated into Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy while a parliamentary petition has attracted 47,000 signatures in a bid to trigger a debate at 100,000.

Responding to Rashford’s support, Byrne said: “The Right to Food campaign is a perfect fit for Marcus.

“Nothing would give us greater pleasure to work alongside Marcus. We’ve had initial discussions with his team and we are delighted to see Marcus back a right to food to see how we can work together to move that forward.”

While Byrne helped to launch the movement that has seen football fans across the country push for a right to food with Liverpool’s Fans Supporting Foodbanks, other fans across the country have joined the Labour MP in welcoming Rashford’s support.

Manchester City supporter Nick Clarke, of MCFC Fans Foodbank Support, said: “This is fantastic. This is the thing we have been hoping for. We hate to pin a thing on a celebrity figure but what Marcus Rashford has been doing has been absolutely out of the world.

“Because the Right to Food campaign is such a grassroots campaign, it makes sense that Rashford would support it. We’re all fighting for the same thing. It’s sad that we have to fight for it in the first place but this makes us so much stronger and hopefully makes a right to food an inevitability.”

Stuart Latimer, a volunteer at Newcastle’s NUFC Fans Foodbank, added: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have Marcus Rashford on board with the Right To Food campaign as he’s an inspiration and carried the torch so well nationally for children in poverty already with everything he’s done.”

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