England and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has been honoured for his work to raise awareness of child food poverty in the UK.
He was given the Expert Panel Special Award at the Sports Personality show.
Rashford successfully campaigned for the government to extend free school meals during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It resulted in about 1.3 million children in England being able to claim free school meals vouchers during the summer holidays.
Another policy change in November saw the government announce more than £400m to support poor children and their families in England, following further campaigning by Rashford.
The footballer has spoken of going without food as a child and the sacrifices his family had to make.
He became an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours and has continued to lobby for further help for poorer families.
Rashford has also launched a book club to help children enjoy the escapism of reading.
The BBC Sports Personality show's judging panel unanimously agreed that Rashford's accomplishments off the pitch should be commended with a special award as the criteria for the main award shortlist is based around sporting achievements.
On Monday, a documentary - Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain's Children - going behind the scenes of the footballer's free school meals campaign will air on BBC One.