Footballer Marcus Rashford has become the youngest person to top The Sunday Times’ ‘Giving List’ at the age of 23.
The Manchester United player made headlines last year after lobbying the government to extend free school meals for children into the summer holidays. While Conservative MPs initially didn’t back Rashford‘s campaign, millions of others in the UK, including doctors, did.
A letter he wrote to the government pleading with them to change their decision detailed some of his own experiences as a child.
Part of it read, ‘As a family, we relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals, and the kind actions of neighbours and coaches. Food banks and soup kitchens were not alien to us. While the eyes of the nation are on you, make the U-turn and make protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable a top priority.’
His work helped in changing the government’s mind in scrapping free school meals during the summer holidays.
He later criticised the government for the food parcels sent to children while schools were closed as a result of the ongoing pandemic and called on them to ‘do better’, leading to the footballer teaming up with charity FareShare to help cover some of the free school meal deficit, iNews reports.
Now, not only has Rashford’s hard work been acknowledged by The Sunday Times, but the 23-year-old topped the newspaper’s Giving List. The yearly list was created to measure philanthropy undertaken by the country’s wealthy.
According to reports, the footballer raised a staggering £20 million for groups looking to tackle child food poverty in the UK; 125% of his net worth of £16 million.
FareShare Chief Executive Lindsay Boswell has since applauded Rashford for his recent achievement.
As per Sky News, she said:
We are delighted he’s been honoured in this way. Marcus’s support for FareShare over the last year and his commitment to tackling child hunger has simply been incredible.
His own experience of relying on free school meals to eat brings authenticity and compassion to his campaigning, and his status as a Premier League footballer means people and politicians sit up and take notice.
Rashford is yet to publicly comment on the massive achievement, but quote-tweeted British Vogue’s post sharing the news along with a heart emoji this morning.
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