Whilst England and Manchester United soccer player Marcus Rashford, greatly raised the profile of the successful campaign to feed disadvantaged children who were entitled to school meals free of charge in term-time, but not provided in the summer holidays, it was actually begun by 18 year old British social campaigner Christina Adane. A remarkable young lady, she was voted won of the BBC’s hundred “most inspiring and influential women in the world” at the end of 2020.
A recipient herself of free school meals so knew directly how important they were to disadvantaged children.
Her campaigning began at the age of just 11, with a pyjama and baking fund-raiser for the Ebola Crisis. And is now the youth-board co-chair of Bite Back 2030, an organisation that aims to empower young people in campaigning against injustices in the food system.
Adane began a campaign to ensure that free school meals continued in holiday time, a need exacerbated by the various pressures applied by the Covid-19 crisis. 1.4 million children in the UK rely on school meals outside term-time. She began a petition to support this and received 100,000 signatures in the first week. It spread quickly and ended up receiving over 430,000 signatures and immense public support. The government reversed its decision to cut these non-term time school meals.
Although it was the immense profile that Rashford brought to the campaign which was credited as forcing the government to re-think its funding of school meals, it was actually Adane who was behind the campaign.
As a true member of GenZ, Adane is adept at using social media, in particular Instagram . Adane has a particular flair for the use of poetry to reach new audiences and communities with powerful messages. She has appeared in front of thousands at Wembley alongside TV chef Jamie Oliver and continues to volunteer in a community kitchen in Lambeth, London where still lives. We are excited to see what Adane does next!
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