Marcus Rashford has been awarded his MBE for services to vulnerable children at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.
The Manchester United and England striker received the award from the Duke of Cambridge with his mother Melanie watching on.
Rashford led a campaign last year to try to ensure that disadvantaged children would not go hungry as schools shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
His determination resulted in the government changing its policy over free school meals vouchers during lockdown.
Rashford has also formed a Child Food Poverty Task Force, with the aim of ending child food poverty in Great Britain. His mother has a foodbank warehouse named after her in honour of her work around food poverty.
The ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday was the first face-to-face ceremony Prince William has hosted since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After being made an MBE last year, Rashford released a statement saying: “I’m incredibly honoured and humbled. As a young black man from Wythenshawe, never did I think I would be accepting an MBE, never mind an MBE at the age of 22.
“This is a very special moment for myself and my family, but particularly my mum who is the real deserving recipient of the honour.”
“The fight to protect our most vulnerable children is far from over. I would be doing my community, and the families I have met and spoken with, an injustice if I didn’t use this opportunity to respectfully urge the Prime Minister, who recommended me for this honour, to support our children during the October half-term with an extension of the voucher scheme, as the furlough scheme comes to an end and we face increased unemployment.
“Another sticking plaster, but one that will give the parents of millions of children in the UK just one less thing to worry about.
“Let’s stand together in saying that no children in the UK should be going to bed hungry. As I have said many times before, no matter your feeling or opinion, not having access to food is NEVER the child’s fault.”