Earlier today (Nov. 9), Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford was awarded an MBE by the Duke Of Cambridge at Windsor Castle in recognition of his work campaigning to help feed vulnerable children.
After accepting the MBE, Rashford announced that he was dedicating the award to his mother, Melanie Maynard, who raised Marcus and his four siblings while working full-time on minimum wage. Ms Maynard has also been praised for her own work campaigning on the issue of food poverty, work that saw a foodbank named in her honour.
Rashford’s campaigning work has been an ongoing project for several years, but he has been particularly vocal during the pandemic. In March 2020, as schools were being closed, Rashford was quick to raise the issue of child welfare, kicking off a drive to make sure that no child would go hungry during the pandemic. Ultimately, despite some heel-dragging, he was able to persuade the government to change its policy on free school meal vouchers.
In a speech made after the ceremony, Rashford vowed to continue working to “give children the things I didn’t have when I was kid. If I did have, I would have been much better off and had many more options in my life,” he said. “For me, it is a punishment for them not to be getting things like meals or supplies of books.”
“I see a generation that is coming after me as a very special generation,” he added. “They just need a bit of guidance and pointing in the right direction and what I am doing is giving them that.”