Ed Sheeran has responded to Marcus Rashford’s call for deprived children to receive free half term meals by opening a breakfast club at his west London bistro.
The multi-millionaire singer has provided a hot breakfast to any child who qualifies for free school meals through his Notting Hill restaurant, Bertie Blossoms.
The Portobello Road business is the latest to get behind Rashford’s initiative after Tory MPs rejected the Manchester United striker’s push to extend free school meals during the week long break.
Good cause: Ed Sheeran has responded to Marcus Rashford’s call for deprived children to receive free meals by opening a breakfast club at his west London bistro
Sharing the news on the establishment’s Instagram page on Tuesday, Ed, 29, wrote: ‘In these difficult times, Berties want to offer anyone who is normally entitled to a free school meal or who is struggling in these strange times, a hot breakfast.
‘Drop in between 9am-11am tomorrow or 8am-11am for the rest of the week and we’ll be offering a hot breakfast, fruit and a hot or cold drink to kids – no questions asked.
‘Either eat-in or take-out. We are with you, we are behind you and we love you! Spread the word.’
Getting involved: The multi-millionaire singer announced the news through Notting Hill restaurant Bertie Blossoms’ Instagram page on Tuesday
Starting a movement: The Portobello Road business is the latest to get behind Rashford’s initiative after Tory MPs rejected the Manchester United striker’s push to extend free school meals during the week long break
Rashford, whose online petition to end child food poverty has accumulated more than a million signatures, has since hailed business owners across Britain for supporting his campaign.
Posting to Twitter on Tuesday evening, he wrote: ‘To all the local business owners, to the food bank volunteers, to the teachers, to the carers, to the campaigners, this is your moment.
‘Our children have felt the warmth and the compassion of their community and I am grateful beyond words.
Come on in: Bertie Blossoms will offer free breakfasts to those who qualify for free school meals between 8am-11am for the rest of the half term break
‘We have proved that even when we have little, we still have something to give. I am truly humbled by what I have witnessed over the last couple of days, I couldn’t be prouder to call Britain my home, and to call football my profession.
‘To all of you climbing into bed tonight after a hard day supporting our most needy, I salute you. You are the real superstars. I’m in awe of you all. Thank you.’
Rashford also encouraged people to keep signing his petition on Wednesday, tweeting: ‘Let’s take a second to remember that a lot of families in need will not have access to the internet.
Impressive: Rashford’s online petition to end child food poverty has accumulated more than a million signatures
Giving back: The Manchester United star has campaigned tirelessly for free school meals provision
‘They can’t sign petitions or scroll down my twitter. Their voices cannot be heard so we have to use ours to communicate on all of this amazing local help.’
Rashford only created the petition on October 14, but after just two weeks the e-petition reached the one million mark.
It comes with the tag-line: ‘Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy…
Incredible: Rashford only created his petition on October 14, but after just two weeks the e-petition reached the one million mark
‘To expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme.’
Rashford has used his social media profile to highlight examples of businesses that have pledged to help with meals for local children.
Writing on Twitter on Monday evening, he called for businesses to let him know how many meals they had supplied on the first day of half-term.
Rashford’s club, in partnership with the Manchester United Foundation and the charity FareShare, will provide around 5,000 meals from the Old Trafford kitchens to children from local schools.
Humble beginnings: Rashford was raised by his single mother Melanie in Wythenshawe, south Manchester
The Government’s social mobility watchdog also supported Rashford, saying 600,000 more children were in poverty than in 2012.
‘We believe the Government should do all it can to start reversing that trend,’ a Social Mobility Commission spokesman said.
‘It should begin by ensuring that all children are properly fed.’
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Rashford admitted he ‘couldn’t be more proud to call myself British’ after his campaign to provide free meals to children this Christmas sparked an outpouring of support on social media.
Support: Ed’s restaurant has joined many more in supporting Rashford’s campaign to help undernourished children across the United Kingdom
The Manchester United footballer thanked hundreds of cafes, pubs and restaurants which came forward yesterday to offer half-term food for vulnerable children.
In a statement released to the flagship programme, he also responded to criticism of his decision to start 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 always had the safety net of the community. That community was my family.
‘When we stumbled, we were caught with open arms. Even at their lowest point, having felt the devastating effects of the pandemic, local businesses have wrapped arms around their communities today, catching vulnerable children as they fell.
‘I couldn’t be more proud to call myself British tonight. I am truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
‘You want to talk about ‘celebrities’ and ‘superstars’, look no further than my Twitter feed and that’s exactly what you’ll find.’