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Business briefing: Retail giants join Marcus Rashford to fight child food poverty

MARCUS RASHFORD’S new child food poverty task force has put forward recommendations that the prime minister’s official spokesman promised yesterday will be ‘carefully considered’.

The Manchester United and England star has formed the campaign group with some of the UK’s biggest food brands to tackle the issue.

For the next six weeks, Aldi, Asda, the Co-op, Deliveroo, FareShare, Food Foundation, Iceland, Kellogg’s, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose have all pledged to dedicate their platforms to sharing stories of those most affected by child food insecurity.

And the PM’s spokesman said: ‘We will carefully consider the recommendations as we approach the next spending review.’

Rashford, 22, campaigned for free school meal vouchers to be provided to pupils over the summer, leading to a major U-turn by the government. Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the footballer (pictured top) said he knew that was only a ‘short-term solution’.

In a letter to MPs, he said the task force is endorsing three policy recommendations: free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit, the expansion of holiday provision for all those on free school meals, and increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week (from £3.10) and expanding its use.

In his letter, Rashford wrote: ‘I remember the sound of my mum crying herself to sleep to this day, having worked a 14-hour shift, unsure how she was going to make ends meet.’

He said he has met parents who ‘cried with sheer relief at providing food for children… This is the reality of England in 2020’.

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■ GREAT Western Railway has had its emergency measures agreement extended. The government will continue waiving the struggling train operator’s revenue and cost risks until at least June next year.

■ SAGA shares almost doubled yesterday after the insurance and travel firm confirmed ex-boss Sir Roger De Haan is returning — with a £100million investment. They hit 26.6p before dropping to around 19p.