Barack Obama lauds Manchester United star Marcus Rashford's child food poverty campaign

Forward was awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable children during the pandemic

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY MAY 28 Handout photo provided by Penguin Random House of President Barack Obama and Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford MBE. Issue date: Friday May 28, 2021. Marcus Rashford has been recorded in conversation with President Barack Obama discussing the power young people can have to make change in society. See PA story SOCCER Rashford. Photo credit should read: Handout Photo/Penguin Random House/PA Wire.

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Former US President Barack Obama has praised England forward Marcus Rashford for his work tackling child food poverty and the two discussed by video call how young people can make an impact on society.

Last year, Rashford led a campaign to end child food poverty and successfully lobbied the British government to continue providing free school meals during the holidays.

The 23-year-old was awarded an MBE for services to vulnerable children during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"A lot of the young people I meet – including Marcus – they are ahead of where I was when I was 23," Obama said in a Zoom call organised by publishers Penguin.

"They're already making changes and being positive forces in their communities.

"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."

The Manchester United forward said it was "surreal" talking to the former US President.

"I mean, it's quite surreal, isn't it? I'm sitting in my kitchen in Manchester, speaking to President Obama. But immediately he made me feel at ease," Rashford said.

"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."

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS