England and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford says helping children is “very important” during the coronavirus pandemic and is working to get free food for those not in school.
The 22-year-old has been working with charity FareShare to help children in Manchester after schools were closed.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Rashford said the work was “top of my to-do list” and spoke about his childhood.
“I am just trying to impact the next generation in a positive way,” he said.
“I have done a lot of work with children and when I heard about the schools shutting down, I knew some kids would not be getting free meals at school.
“When I was at school, I was on free meals and my mum wouldn’t get home until around six o’clock so my next meal would have been about eight o’clock.
“I was fortunate, and there are kids in much more difficult situations that don’t get their meals at home.”
Manchester United have joined forces with rivals Manchester City to raise money in a bid to help those affected by the global pandemic.
Rashford said the work they have been doing has helped raise £100,000 which will feed 400,000 children across Manchester.
“I think when times are tough it is important that two clubs who have a huge social following, like we do, come together and make a difference when things which are bigger than football happen. So credit to both clubs,” said Rashford.
The forward had begun judging a poetry competition for children with hearing impairments prior to the outbreak and Rashford said he promises to deliver the awards in person when the government restrictions are lifted.
“As soon as this is finished I will go to the school, see the kids and give them the awards from the competition,” he said.
“I read a lot of books on mentality because in my profession that is one of the key points. I always want to keep developing and improving in some way and physically I can’t do that right now.
“There is so much knowledge in books and you don’t realise until you start reading yourself.”
Rashford, who has not played since January because of a back injury, added that the Manchester United players “have been missing football” after all sport in England was postponed until at least 30 April.
“It’s just about patience, I have been working hard on the bikes and following the programme that I have been given from the club,” he said.
“I have been playing Fifa, reading different types of books. It is important to keep time passing with positive vibes and just keep smiling.
“I am just taking it day by day. It’s very difficult, even when there’s nothing on TV. I have been watching old games from years ago.”