Former United States president Barack Obama has praised Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford for the work he does in bringing awareness to children’s food poverty, in an online meeting between the two.
Rashford and Obama share the same book publisher and discussed Rashford’s work in the United Kingdom which has seen the government forced into several U-turns over their policies on food for children.
“A lot of the young people I meet — including Marcus — they’re ahead of where I was when I was 23. They’re already making changes and being positive forces in their communities,” Obama said on the call.
“Even if you do something positive on a small scale, that’s making a difference, and it’s the accumulation of people doing positive things over time that makes us a little bit better with each successive generation.”
Rashford has campaigned for food vouchers during school holidays for children who normally receive free meals during term time if their parents receive welfare support. He has received an MBE for his work.
“I mean, it’s quite surreal isn’t it,” Rashford said . “I’m sitting in my kitchen in Manchester, speaking to President Obama. But, immediately, he made me feel at ease. It wasn’t long before I realised just how aligned our experiences as children were in shaping the men you see today — adversity, obstacles and all. I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. When President Obama speaks, all you want to do is listen.”
The 23-year-old said he had been subjected to “at least 70 racial slurs” on social media.