The Manchester United and England star had been campaigning for weeks for the government to reverse a decision to cancel the scheme which would have helped numerous disadvantaged families put food on the table during the six weeks break from school an issue that has only been further highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has kept many children out of school for months.
In an honest, open and frank letter that Rashford shared on social media on Monday, the footballer drew upon his own experiences as a child and the hardships that his mother went through in order to put food on the table for him and his siblings in a single-parent household. His response to the government's decision was one of triumph and unity.
I don’t even know what to say.
Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@Marcus Rashford MBE)
This decision is reported to cost the government £120m. This is in addition with a £63 million scheme that will help local authorities to provide children with free meals and activities during the holidays and until they are due to return in September. The previous system would have meant that many families would have gone without the food that free school meals would have provided for months.
Rashford's remarkable achievement saw him quickly hailed as a hero on social media, with many declaring him 'the leader of the opposition' or even the prime minister.
Nothing but respect for MY prime minister. https://t.co/LhzlCYdW8B
A hero. An inspiration. One of our own.
We are so proud of you, @MarcusRashford ❤️ https://t.co/haAb0m2I4u
— Manchester United (@Manchester United)
The government's announcement was also made just hours before Boris Johnson was set to oppose a similar motion that was going to be presented by Labour in the Commons on Tuesday afternoon which would have asked for money to be provided for impoverished families to buy food during the summer holidays.
After the U-turn was confirmed Labour tweeted 'We did it! Thank you to everyone who campaigned for #HolidaysWithoutHunger'.
We did it! Thank you to everyone who campaigned for #HolidaysWithoutHunger 🙌 https://t.co/pXgTzSKJXC
Labour's own campaign was launched last weekend when they asked their followers to add their name to a petition asking for school meal vouchers to be made free to school children during the summer break.
The equality for disabled people charity Scope had also launched a campaign in April for the school vouchers to be made available for school children in England and Wales.
Labour's tweet also contained a retweet from Keir Starmer who thanked Rashford for his efforts. But despite the fact that Labour did have their own campaign, people weren't happy with the wording of Labour's tweet and accused them of taking any credit away from the footballer.
Although Labour has campaigned for the same goal as Rashford, the popularity of his campaign has overshadowed others which were all striving for the same thing.
Regardless this should hardly be the issue here and it shouldn't overshadow a big achievement for all involved.
It's also a much better tweet than what the secretary for work and pensions, Therese Coffey tweeted after Rashford expressed concerns for families who might have essential energy supplies cut off if they can't pay their bills.