The UK government has reversed its decision to not extend free school meal vouchers throughout the summer holidays.

The announcement comes after a prominent English football player criticized the UK over a lack of free meals for children over the summer.

Britain provides free school meal vouchers for low-income families but the program was due to finish at the end of the current academic year in July.

Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford had pleaded with lawmakers to extend the scheme through the summer for low-income families.

A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that there would now be a so-called summer food fund.

The spokesperson added that Johnson understood the issues families were facing during the pandemic and that the expected costs for the fund were expected to be around 120 million pounds (about $152 million).

Johnson initially rejected the idea. Rashford then wrote to lawmakers urging them to “put their rivalries aside” and make a U-turn as many families continue to struggle with the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Following up on the open letter he published Monday, Rashford wrote an article in The Times newspaper asking MPs to “help us break the cycle of hardship” of child poverty in the UK.

Downing Street’s comments were first reported by Reuters and confirmed by CNN.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Rashford said in the tweet.

“Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.”

Source : CNN

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