England striker Marcus Rashford said he would fight on after the government confirmed it would not provide free school meal vouchers during the summer.
The Manchester United player wrote an emotional open letter to MPs in which he said “the system isn’t built for families like mine to succeed”.
But the Department for Education said it would not reverse its decision.
Rashford, 22, responded by tweeting “we aren’t beaten yet” and “MPs, please #maketheUturn”.
Rashford has raised about £20m to supply three million meals to vulnerable people while working with charity FareShare UK during the coronavirus lockdown.
Campaigners have threatened to bring legal action against the government for not extending the food voucher scheme into the summer holidays.
In his letter, Rashford drew on his own experience of relying on free school meals and food banks growing up. He said his story was “all too familiar for families in England”.
Sonja from Basingstoke, who has three teenage children, told BBC Radio 5 live Drive she found herself out of work because of the pandemic and does not start her new job until September. She said she was in “real trouble” without the vouchers in the meantime.
“I’m relying on the £60 I get every fortnight from free school meal vouchers to do my food shopping,” she said.
“There are lots of us out there that have found ourselves on benefits through no fault of our own. We really are struggling to make ends meet and I’m not sure too many people understand how difficult it is – Marcus obviously does.”
Gary Lineker told BBC Newsnight he was “very impressed” with Rashford’s efforts.
He said he understands that “kids wouldn’t ordinarily be fed during the summer holidays”, but these are “very, very difficult times”.