English soccer star Marcus Rashford received a distinguished award from Prince William on Tuesday after he spearheaded a campaign to help fight child poverty and hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Manchester United striker received his MBE at a ceremony at Winsor Castle,
Rashford was given the honor in recognition for his services to vulnerable children last year. Last winter, the 24-year-old successfully fought to extend free school meals to vulnerable children during the holidays. He had a similarly successful campaign in the summer of 2019. His efforts even got the attention of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
After the ceremony, Rashford told reporters that his mission isn’t over.
“We’re nowhere near where we want to be, or where we feel the kids deserve to be,” he said. “We’ve just got to stick at it and keep going.”
He dedicated the medal to his mother, who raised the footballer and his siblings as a single parent.
“I have two brothers and two sisters all older than me and she’s been a single parent through all of that,” he said. “So, however bad it was for us, it was ten times worse for her. So, any awards I’ve got really from the charitable things that I’ve been doing, including this one, they’re all in her house.”
He later tweeted that it was an “honour” to spend time with the royals, and thanked them for making the “day so special” for him and his mother.
Last year, Rashford, who drew from his own experiences with hunger as a Black child growing up in a low-income household in Britain, urged an examination of the system as a whole after he highlighted the “unacceptable” quality of meals that families were receiving. His comments prompted Johnson to get involved – and they helped benefit more than 1 million children in England.