LONDON (AP) – Soccer star Marcus Rashford has received an honorary award from Prince William for his successful campaign to get the British government to provide free meals to underprivileged children during the pandemic.
Rashford, 24, was made an MBE or Order of the British Empire during a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.
The England and Manchester United striker launched a high-profile campaign last year to persuade the Conservative government to extend free food vouchers to vulnerable youth during the summer school holidays.
Rashford’s campaign drew on his own experiences with hunger as a black child growing up in a low-income household in Britain. In an open letter, he wrote that no matter how hard his mother worked, it was not enough and that “the system was not designed for families like mine to be successful.”
His efforts took a U-turn from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the food voucher debate and benefited more than 1 million children in England.
“To put it simply for me, I’m trying to give kids things I didn’t have when I was a kid,” Rashford said Tuesday after the ceremony.
The football star said he would dedicate the award to his mother, Melanie, who raised him and his four siblings.