Soccer star Rashford honored for fighting child poverty

Nov 8, 2021, 4:49 PM | Updated: Nov 9, 2021, 6:53 am
Footballer Marcus Rashford is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by the Britai...

Footballer Marcus Rashford is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by the Britain's Prince William during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

(Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

              Marcus Rashford with his mother Melanie Rashford, arrive at Windsor Castle ahead of an investiture ceremony to receive his MBE for services to Vulnerable Children in the UK during Covid-19, Tuesday Nov. 9, 2021. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)
            
              Marcus Rashford  is made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by Britain’s Prince William during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
            
              Footballer Marcus Rashford with his mother Melanie Rashford, before receiving his MBE for services to Vulnerable Children in the UK during Covid-19, during a investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Andrew Matthews/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Footballer Marcus Rashford after receiving his MBE for services to Vulnerable Children in the UK during Covid-19, during a investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Andrew Matthews/Pool Photo via AP)
            
              Footballer Marcus Rashford is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by the Britain's Prince William during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
            
              Footballer Marcus Rashford is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by the Britain's Prince William during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

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 disadvantaged children during the pandemic.

Rashford, 24, was made an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, on Tuesday during a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The England and Manchester United striker waged a high-profile campaign last year to persuade the Conservative government it should extend free meal vouchers to vulnerable young people throughout 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 “the system was not built for families like mine to succeed.”

His efforts led to a U-turn on the meal vouchers debate from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and benefited more than 1 million children in England.

“For me to put it in the simplest way — I’m trying to give children the things I didn’t have when I was a kid,” Rashford said Tuesday after the ceremony.

The soccer star said he would dedicate the award to his mother, Melanie, who raised him and his four siblings.

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