Ed Sheeran responds to Marcus Rashford call for free mid-term meals

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Ed Sheeran has answered Marcus Rashford’s call for needy children to receive free mid-term meals by opening a breakfast club in his West London bistro.

The multi-millionaire singer has provided a hot breakfast for any child who qualifies for free school meals at his Notting Hill restaurant, Bertie Blossoms.

The Portobello Road company is the latest to back Rashford’s initiative after Tory MPs rejected the Manchester United striker’s request to extend free school meals during the break week.

Good cause: Ed Sheeran has answered Marcus Rashford’s call for needy children to receive free meals by opening a breakfast club in his west London bistro

Sharing the news on the facility’s Instagram page on Tuesday, Ed, 29, wrote: ‘In these difficult times, Berties is keen to give anyone who is normally entitled to a free school lunch or who is struggling in these strange times, a hot breakfast.

Come 9-11am tomorrow or 8-11am for the rest of the week and we’ll be providing a hot breakfast, fruit, and a hot or cold drink for the kids – no questions asked.

“Either on site or to take away. We are with you, we are behind you and we love you! Make known. ‘

Get involved: The multi-millionaire singer broke the news on Tuesday on the Instagram page of Notting Hill restaurant Bertie Blossoms

Get involved: The multi-millionaire singer broke the news on Tuesday on the Instagram page of Notting Hill restaurant Bertie Blossoms

Rashford, whose online petition to end child food poverty has racked up more than a million signatures, has since praised business owners across Britain for their support for his campaign.

Posting on Twitter Tuesday night, he wrote: ‘To all the local business owners, food bank volunteers, teachers, caregivers, activists, this is your time.

“Our children have felt the warmth and compassion of their community and I am grateful to them beyond words.

Enter: Bertie Blossoms will be offering free breakfasts to those who qualify for free school meals between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. for the remainder of the midterm break

Enter: Bertie Blossoms will be offering free breakfasts to those who qualify for free school meals between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. for the remainder of the midterm break

“We have proven that even when we have little, we still have something to give. I am truly touched by what I have seen the past few days, I could not be more proud to call Great Britain home and to call football my profession.

“ To all of you to get to bed tonight after a hard day supporting our most needy, I salute you. You are the real superstars. I am impressed with all of you. Thank you.’

Rashford also encouraged people to continue signing his petition on Wednesday, tweeting: ‘Let’s take a second to remind ourselves that many families in need will not have access to the internet.

Impressive: Rashford's online petition to end child food poverty has racked up over a million signatures

Impressive: Rashford’s online petition to end child food poverty has racked up over a million signatures

“They can’t sign petitions or scroll my Twitter. Their voices cannot be heard, so we have to use ours to communicate about all this amazing local help.

Rashford didn’t create the petition until October 14, but after just two weeks the e-petition hit the million mark.

It is accompanied by the slogan: “ The government should support vulnerable children and #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations of the national food strategy …

Unbelievable: Rashford didn't create his petition until October 14, but after just two weeks the e-petition hit the million mark

Unbelievable: Rashford didn’t create his petition until October 14, but after just two weeks the e-petition hit the million mark

“To expand access to free school meals, provide meals and activities during the holidays to end holiday hunger and increase the value and expand the Healthy Start program.

Rashford used his social media profile to highlight examples of businesses that are committed to helping with meals for local children.

Writing on Twitter on Monday night, he called on businesses to let him know how many meals they provided on the first day of midterm.

The Rashford club, in partnership with the Manchester United Foundation and the charity FareShare, will provide around 5,000 meals from the Old Trafford kitchens to local school children.

Humble beginnings: Rashford was raised by his single mother Melanie in Wythenshawe, south Manchester

Humble beginnings: Rashford was raised by his single mother Melanie in Wythenshawe, south Manchester

The government’s social mobility watchdog also backed Rashford, saying 600,000 more children were in poverty than in 2012.

“We believe the government should do all it can to start reversing this trend,” a spokesperson for the Social Mobility Commission said.

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“It should start with making sure all children are properly fed.”

Speaking to TBEN Newsnight, Rashford admitted he ‘couldn’t be prouder to call me British’ after his campaign to provide free meals to children this Christmas sparked a wave of support on the media social.

Support: Ed's Restaurant joined with many others in supporting Rashford's campaign to help malnourished children across the UK

Support: Ed’s Restaurant joined with many others in supporting Rashford’s campaign to help malnourished children across the UK

The Manchester United footballer has thanked the hundreds of cafes, pubs and restaurants who stood up yesterday to provide mid-term food to vulnerable children.

In a statement released to the flagship program, he also responded to criticism of his decision to launch the campaign, saying those who wanted to talk about “ celebrities ” and “ superstars ” would find them in his Twitter feed.

Rashford, who was raised by his single mother Melanie in Wythenshawe, said: ‘Growing up we didn’t have a lot but we still had the community safety net. This community was my family.

“When we stumbled, we were taken with open arms. Even at their lowest point, after feeling the devastating effects of the pandemic, local businesses have wrapped their arms around their communities today, grabbing vulnerable children as they fall.

“I couldn’t be prouder to call myself British tonight. I am truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

“You mean ‘celebrities’ and ‘superstars’ look no further than my Twitter feed and that’s exactly what you’ll find.”

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