Mum Slams Contents Of '£30' Food Parcel Meant To Last Family Ten Days

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Mum Slams Contents Of '£30' Food Parcel Meant To Last Family Ten Days

A disappointed mother has tweeted a photo of the tiny amount of food she was given to last her children ten days, as part of the government's pledge to provide free school meals.

In a post which has since been shared over 21,000 times on Twitter, the woman - whose handle is @Roadsidemum - shared a snap of a loaf of bread, one bag of pasta, a can of baked beans, two malt loaf snacks and three snack size tubes of fromage frais, as well as some cheese, three apples, two carrots, one tomato, two baked potatoes and two bananas.

"Issued instead of £30 vouchers. I could do more with £30 to be honest," she wrote alongside the picture.

She then went on to price all the items, revealing that if she had bought them at ASDA it would have cost her just over £5 in total.


The "hampers" are being sent out to kids eligible for free school meals, who aren't able to attend school as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.


In some areas, they're being offered instead of £30 vouchers, while in other places people are able to pick between the two.

"The private company who have the #FSM contract made good profit here," the mother wrote on social media under her viral post.

The unnamed mother said the parcel had been issued by a private company named Chartwells, who had been contracted by the Department for Education. The company has since said it is investigating the claims, adding that the picture "does not reflect the specification" of one of their hampers.

She is far from alone with her dissatisfaction, though.


Other images showed some families had been sent half a red pepper, a tomato or just two eggs.


Responding to the images, food writer Jack Monroe wrote that the hampers being offered were nothing more than "offensively meagre scraps", adding: "There seems to be a prevalent train of thought that if you're in poverty you should be 'grateful' for anything you get.

"People in difficult situations are PEOPLE, no less 'deserving' of a good meal than anyone else."


Meanwhile, Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, tweeted: "The images appearing online of woefully inadequate free school meal parcels are a disgrace.

"Where is the money going? This needs sorting immediately so families don't go hungry through lockdown."

Manchester United footballer and free school meals campaigner Marcus Rashford also had his say on the scandal, retweeting several damning images onto his own page, and urging the government to act.

"3 days of food for 1 family ... Just not good enough," he wrote, before later adding: "Then imagine we expect the children to engage in learning from home. Not to mention the parents who, at times, have to teach them who probably haven't eaten at all so their children can ... We MUST do better. This is 2021."

Responding to the Twitter storm, the Department for Education tweeted: "We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed."

Children's minister, Vicky Ford, confirmed that she would be "urgently" be looking into the matter, too.

It comes after footie star Rashford pushed the government to make a U-turn on the provision of free school meals in June, during the summer holidays - later landing an MBE for the social media rallying.

In autumn, Rashford once again succeeded in pushing the government to continue their free school meals programme into further school holidays.

As set out in the government's £170m Covid winter grant scheme, kids with be pithy to activities and food programmes across Easter, summer and Christmas breaks this year, as well as during lockdown, when they should be in school.

On the hampers, he added this morning: "Wanted to share key points from a conversation with @Chartwells_UK this morning.

"FSM Hampers are currently distributed to provide 10 lunch meals per child across 2 weeks.

"This concerns me firstly as I relied on breakfast club, FSM and after-school clubs. Is 1 meal a day from Mon-Fri sufficient for children most vulnerable?

"There is a meeting scheduled between Chartwells and @educationgovuk today."

He added: "The value uplift of the FSM Hampers has not yet come into play. We have so many independent businesses who have struggled their way through 2020 - why can't we mobilise them to support the distribution of food packages? Or am I being naïve?"

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Life News, News, Life

Joanna Freedman

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