'Just not good enough': Marcus Rashford slams free school meal parcels

Darnell Taylor
January 13, 2021

The 235 catering staff earned £1.05 an hour less in 2015 than if they had continued to be employed by the Council who implemented a living wage for directly-employed staff but not contractors.

It posted on Twitter: 'We are looking into this.

The contents of the free school meal parcel has also sparked outrage from local foodbank providers in Greater Manchester.

The picture, which has caused several others to post their own pathetic food parcels on social media, shows two jacket potatoes, one can of beans, eight slices of cheese, a single loaf of bread, two carrots, two small Soreen loaves, three Frubes, a small portion of pasta and a single tomato - all to feed one child for ten days.

Food boxes are being offered in some areas instead of £30 vouchers, even though many recipients said they would be able to buy more food with the money themselves.

The firm said it had been required to provide thousands of food parcels "at extremely short notice" - but acknowledged it was insufficient and apologised.

Photos showing food packages being sent to school children in the United Kingdom who are now learning remotely have sparked outrage online, with many calling the parcels "shameful", "cruel", and "disgraceful".

"Issued instead of £30 vouchers.

Clearly, due to the pandemic, many people have unfortunately lost their jobs and are finding it very hard to manage at the moment". She said: 'It's like they've scraped them off their shoe. It's enough for lunches for a child for a week.

The food bags were compared with the gourmet-quality food provided by the company to private schools, where meals included tandoori roast pollock and Goan curry of prawns and mussels.

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He also said that Chartwells had clarified that "Chartwells supply FSM when schools are operational".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: "We're aware of those images circulating on social media, and it is clear that the contents of those food parcels are completely unacceptable".

The initial images drew widespread criticism.

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

And Anne Longfield, the children's commissioner, called on companies to provide "real food and real amounts that will really help families". A Bristol headteacher previously criticised the company in March for its "shameful" food parcels. "The examples shared are an insult to the dignity of people who rely on this support".

Chartwells has been named as the company behind the meagre food "hamper" supplied to one family in England, a photo of which has shared nearly 30,000 times and branded "unacceptable" by footballer and activist Marcus Rashford. 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's Minister Vicky Ford said she would be "urgently" look into the matter after one mother posted an image of a #30 parcel which was estimated to contain just over #5 worth of food.

Rashford tweeted that it's clear "there was very little communication with the suppliers that a national lockdown was coming".

A Conservative MP has defended the free school meals packages that have been sent to parents in recent days following the closure of schools under new lockdown rules.

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