Photos of free school meal packages in the United Kingdom spark outrage online
Photos of free school meal packages in the United Kingdom spark outrage online
'Just not good enough': Marcus Rashford slams free school meal parcels
13 January, 2021, 14:26
Households with children that would usually qualify for food at school have been given the option of parcels to prepare at home but there has been a huge amount of backlash.
During the current lockdown, schools in England have been told to continue providing free meals for those who are learning at home, and have been urged to use their usual caterers to offer food parcels. Who is profiteering from our hungry children being provided with disgracefully inadequate meals? Many on Twitter have also raised concerns.
One of the "hampers", which is supposed to last for 10 days, includes: 2 potatoes, one tin of beans, a loaf of bread, eight single cheese slices, two carrots, three apples, two bananas, two Soreen slices and three yogurts along with some pasta and single tomato.
1 child or 3, this what they are receiving?
"Issued instead of £30 vouchers".
The purported value of the food is £30, charged to the public purse, but the mother said she calculated it to be worth just over £5.
Foodwriter Jack Monroe, who describes herself as a "former foodbank mum turned accidental activist", described the parcels as "offensively meagre scraps".
Further images have been circulating online highlighting the paucity of food provided in the parcels.
The private company contracted by the government to produce the dismal food parcels, meant to feed a child for ten days, is called Chartwells.
"Our hampers follow the DofE specifications and contain a variety of ingredients to support families in providing meals throughout the week". Mashable has reached out to Chartwells for comment but has not yet received a response.
It has also said the firm will further enhance its food parcels following the Department for Education's additional allowance of £3.50 per week per child, in line with nutritional guidelines.
Meanwhile, Dr Max Davie, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the contents of the food parcels were "not nutritionally sufficient for children and young people".
Rashford tweeted a thread of updates on the situation following a conversation with Chartwells.
Ms Ford has said anyone with evidence of problems should provide details to the Department of Education for investigation.
Following Rashford's successful campaign to end child hunger over lockdown and the Christmas and summer holidays, parents have now criticised the contents of the meal packages online calling the contents "woefully inadequate" and "unacceptable" after sharing photos on Twitter.
It is unclear which company supplied the parcels in the above two photos. It's horrific.' Teacher Zane Powles said he used the money to make up packs for kids at his school in Grimsby, adding: 'What I bought was better than what we get from the company we use'. "Children shouldn't be going hungry on the basis that we aren't communicating or being transparent with plans".
While England star Rashford, 23, shared multiple pictures of sparse packages and said it was "just not good enough".
Rashford went on to ask why independent businesses which "struggled their way through 2020" can not be mobilised to support distribution of food packages and said it was "unacceptable" that children should go hungry due to poor communication and a lack of transparency.
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