We continue a full national operation to get food to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis.

Marcus Rashford’s work with FareShare

England International footballer Marcus Rashford has been an ambassador of FareShare since March 2020.

At the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March, and planning for the consequences of the pandemic on vulnerable communities, FareShare launched an urgent Covid-19 appeal calling for donations, food and volunteers to respond to the impending crisis.

FareShare was preparing for an unprecedented challenge and a huge growth in demand for food, and the charity’s expectations soon became reality with the number of new projects applying to receive food more than tripling in just one month. At the same time, FareShare’s existing network of charities and community groups were requesting increasingly higher volumes of food as they experienced more and more people coming to them for support.

Marcus Rashford soon heard FareShare’s call for support. FareShare’s work fighting hunger in the nation’s most vulnerable communities, especially our ActiveAte campaign helping vulnerable children over the summer holidays who would usually access a free school meal, is aligned to Marcus’ own personal mission. His own family relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals, the “kind actions of neighbours and coaches”, and at times, food banks and soup kitchens. Raised by his mum Mel, who worked full time earning minimum wage to get a good meal on the table, it was often not enough. As Marcus explains: “the system was not built for families like mine to succeed, regardless of how hard my mum worked.”

All too aware of just how vulnerable millions of families across the UK are to falling into hardship – and how the crisis and imminent school closures could exacerbate the issue – the England and Manchester United player acted quickly. Marcus partnered with FareShare and made several significant financial donations to help ensure children usually eligible for free school meals could continue to access good food via FareShare, as well as calling on his millions of followers to donate and support too.

Marcus’ support of FareShare has been transformational for the charity. Since March 2020, Marcus has:

  • Helped raise enough money to enable FareShare to provide enough food for over 4.2 million meals for children and families who might not otherwise eat during the crisis
  • Raised awareness of child hunger in the UK, driving the issue to the top of the news agenda
  • Successfully influenced government policy with his #MakeTheUTurn campaign, which saw the voucher scheme – a replacement for free school meals through the lockdown – extended over the summer, ensuring 1.3 million vulnerable children could continue to access food
  • Launched and spearheaded the Child Food Poverty Taskforce, a group of more than 15 organisations that FareShare is a founding member of, which have come together to support the National Food Strategy and dedicate their platforms to sharing real stories of those affected by child food insecurity in the UK, supported by real-time statistics

Marcus and FareShare have come together to help tackle childhood hunger in the UK, and we are very grateful for his support.