(Reuters) - Leeds United players have donated 25,000 pounds ($33,000) to a campaign providing free school meals to children in Britain after being inspired by Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford’s efforts, captain Liam Cooper said.
On Thursday, Rashford urged local businesses to tweet using the hashtag #endchildfoodpoverty, which would allow the 22-year-old to locate them. Several have come forward to supply free school meals during half term in the United Kingdom.
“Let’s do this Leeds. No children should ever go hungry. £25k guaranteed from the @lufc squad. We stand with you @Marcus Rashford,” Cooper tweeted on Saturday, adding the team would continue to back the cause.
Rashford forced a government U-turn in July when he won his battle to ensure free school meals during the summer holidays. He then proposed extending the campaign for families receiving financial assistance from the government.
Parliament on Wednesday rejected a Labour Party motion to extend free school meals until Easter 2021 from the cut-off before the half-term and winter holidays, prompting the England international to launch his campaign on social media.
Rashford has received widespread praise for his efforts, including from United’s rivals, with Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard among those expressing their admiration.
“I’m not sure I can find any better words than much smarter people, but what Marcus has started is absolutely incredible, it’s so nice,” Klopp said.
“It’s nice to show in a time when a lot of people who are really in charge of something and don’t show any sign of proper leadership, that a boy grown up in difficult circumstances and... never forgot his roots.”
Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil tweeted: “Congratulations on all your amazing work @MarcusRashford. What you’re doing is an incredible achievement... Keep up the great work.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.