England and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has been awarded an MBE for his campaign to support vulnerable children.
Rashford has been recognised for his drive to ensure no child in need went hungry, which resulted in the Government changing its policy over its free school meals vouchers during lockdown.
The England forward has maintained his campaign for social change by forming a child food poverty taskforce, which has linked up with some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets and food brands.
Rashford was joined by his mother, Melanie, at the investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday, where he received his MBE from the Duke of Cambridge.
Speaking about his mother, Rashford said: “She’s a huge inspiration. Everyone knows my story of growing up, but you have to remember I have two brothers and two sisters all older than me, and she’s a single parent throughout the whole way of that.
Marcus Rashford attended Windsor Castle with his mother Melanie Rashford
“However bad it is for us, it’s 10 times worse for her, so any awards I’ve got for the charitable things I’ve done, they’re all at her house and this one will go there as well.”
Asked about his conversation with Prince William, Rashford said: “We were speaking about football actually. Just speaking about the Euros and what it was like after, how good it was to see everyone come together and support the team.
“Other than the football we were speaking about the campaign, how pleased he is that I started it and what’s next.”
Marcus Rashford received his MBE from the Duke of Cambridge
On whether he will continue to campaign after the retires, he added: “Hopefully everything should be in place by the time I retire, so I don’t have to do it after I retire, but that’s many years away.
“Whilst I’m still playing I’ll still be doing it but hopefully we can eradicate it.”
Rashford waged a high-profile campaign last year to persuade the government to provide free meals to vulnerable youngsters in England throughout the school holidays during the coronavirus pandemic, forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson into a U-turn.
Marcus Rashford after receiving his MBE award
The 24-year-old also this year became the youngest person to top the Sunday Times Giving List by raising GBP20m in donations for his campaigning.
In September, Rashford called on people to write to their MP about backing recommendations to end the “child hunger pandemic”. He said “devastatingly” child food poverty is getting worse instead of better.
The three recommendations Rashford is supporting, part of Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy, aim to guarantee that every child at risk of going hungry gets some good food every day.