The images of the school meals have been shared 18,000 times on Twitter, including by footballer Marcus Rashford, who said it was “unacceptable”
A frustrated mother has tweeted a photo of what she says is an inadequate food hamper to replace free the school meals for her children.
The image has been shared over 18,000 times on Twitter, including by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, who has been campaigning to ensure that families were provided with food during the nation-wide lockdown, saying that it was “unacceptable”.
The image shows a loaf of bread, a bag of pasta, one can of baked beans, some cheese, three apples, two carrots, one tomato, two baked potatoes, two bananas, two malt loaf snacks and three snack size tubes of fromage frais.
The unnamed mother, who uses the Twitter handle “Roadside Mum”, said that she was sent a mere few pounds worth of food to use to feed her children for 10 days.
This comes after Boris Johnson has admitted that he hasn’t been in contact with Marcus Rashford since June, but that Prime Minister has praised the Manchester United footballer’s “terrific” campaign against food poverty.
“I could do more with £30 to be honest,” she wrote, adding that she had estimated the total value of the food to come to £5.22.
Responding to suggestions that the loaf of bread in the picture was out of date, the mother said the best before date was November 2021 – not November 2020.
“It is in date and it does seem fine. To be fair it’s quite nice,” she added.
Chartwells messaged the parent directly on Twitter, and said it was investigating.
The company tweeted: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention, this does not reflect the specification of one of our hampers.
“Please can you DM us the details of the school that your child attends and we will investigate immediately.”
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner also retweeted the original post.
She said: “If the government is allowing companies to make money by providing cut price meals for hungry children we will fight for change. No child should be going hungry.”
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.”
This comes after a Tory MP, Caroline Ansell, has quit her role within the government after rebelling to support Marcus Rashford’s campaign extending free school meals over the coming school holidays.
The Department of Health said that it was investigating the issue following the images being posted to social media showing only a small number of food items sent to families within some council areas.
A spokesperson for Chartwells told Sky News: “We take our responsibility to provide children with access to nutritious food very seriously. We have worked hard to produce food hampers at incredibly short notice during these challenging times. Our hampers follow the DFE specifications and contain a variety of ingredients to support families in providing meals throughout the week. In the majority of instances, we have received positive feedback.”
“In this instance, the image on Twitter falls short of our hamper specification and we are keen to investigate with the relevant school so we can address any operational issues that may have arisen.”