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McDonald's will give a million free meals to UK families in need

Business Insider US
  • McDonald's is offering a million free meals for UK families as part of a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford to end child food poverty in the UK.
  • The food will be distributed to the households "in greatest need."
  • Rashford had previously asked the government to offer free meals during the school vacations, but politicians voted the motion down.
  • McDonald's is joining fish-and-chip shops, churches, and farms that are also donating food.
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McDonald's is offering a million free meals for UK families over the October school vacations, the company announced on Friday.

The fast-food giant is donating the food as part of a campaign by Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford to end child food poverty in the UK.

McDonald's will give funding to food charity FareShare to give foods to the households "in greatest need," which will also be used for the transport and logistics.

This came after the government voted down Rashford's motion to offer free meals during the school vacations. During termtime, children from low-income families are able to access free school meals – but this isn't on offer when schools are on break, even though food bank use is rising during the pandemic.

Instead, dining outlets across the country are stepping in to feed children in need. Rashford tweeted a list of organizations who have offered to donate food, including not just cafes and restaurants but fish-and-chip shops, churches, and farms, too.

One Twitter user said: "Every single company that signs up to this is another company putting @BorisJohnson and his scandalous government to shame."

Local councils and football club have also chipped in to offer meals, food packages, or food vouchers.

Twitter users have called on other fast-food chains such as Burger King and KFC to do the same.

Rashford has also created a petition asking the government to provide support, which has got nearly half a million signatures.

One in 10 children in the UK have experienced food insecurity during the pandemic, the petition says, and demand for food banks this winter is predicted to be 61% higher than winter 2019.

In September, Rashford formed a task force with major UK grocers such as Tesco, Aldi, and Waitrose to campaign for free school meals to be extended to a further 1.5 million children.

"These children are the future of this country," Rashford said on Twitter on Thursday.

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