Catering Firm Chartwells Apologises For 'Disgraceful' Free School Meal Packages
A catering firm responsible for free school meal packages has apologised following widespread backlash.
Food parcels are currently being sent to school children in England who would normally get free school meals as lockdown has meant the vast majority of people now have to stay at home.
A row broke out on social media on Tuesday when one mother, who didn't want to be named, posted her food package, which is meant to last 10 days and cost £30.
However, the package from private company Chartwells comes with 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.
Children's Minister Vicky Ford has now had a meeting with Chartwells, who was responsible for the food package shared on social media.
The company has since said the "parcel was not good enough."
Vicky added: "Chartwells has rightly apologised and admitted the parcel in question was not good enough. I met their managing director earlier today and he has assured me they have taken immediate action to stop further deliveries of poor-quality parcels.
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"They will ensure schools affected are compensated and they will provide additional food to the eligible child in line with our increased funding."
Vicky continued that the government would now be demanding that caterers "urgently improve the quality of lunches they provide to children".
"This will make sure every one of them receives a healthy and nutritious lunch that will give them the fuel they need to focus on learning at home," she said.
Anyone with evidence of problems should provide details to the Department of Education for investigation.
The original post from @RoadsideMum, which has since been shared over 21,000, saw only £5 worth of food in total should she have purchased them from Asda.
Chartwells, which is owned by Compass group, has pledged to refund costs where food parcels have not met its standards, and to contact schools to understand where shortages have occurred, while also apologising to anyone affected.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
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