Mum slams free school meal food parcel while Marcus Rashford condemns it as 'unacceptable'

An angry mum has slammed the free school meals scheme after she says she was sent just over £5 worth of food to feed her child for 10 days.
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Manchester United footballer and anti-poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford highlighted the issue on Twitter, sharing a photo of the food parcel delivered to the woman, who goes by the Twitter handle @Roadside Mum.

She tweeted an image which showed a loaf of bread, some cheese, a tin of beans, two carrots, two bananas, two potatoes, a bag of pasta, three Frubes and a tomato. She estimated the cost of of the food in the package at £5.22 based on prices at Asda.

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She tweeted:"#FreeSchoolMeals bag for 10 days: 2 day jacket potato with beans and 8 single cheese sandwiches 2 days carrots 3 days apples 2 days soreen 3 days Frubes spare pasta and tomato. "Will need mayo for pasta salad. Issued instead of £30 vouchers. I could do more with £30 to be honest."

Angry mum slams the free school meal hamper. Photo credit; roadsidemum/TwitterAngry mum slams the free school meal hamper. Photo credit; roadsidemum/Twitter
Angry mum slams the free school meal hamper. Photo credit; roadsidemum/Twitter

The image has been shared 18,000 times on Twitter including by footballer Marcus Rashford, who had campaigned to ensure families were supplied with food during lockdown, and said it was "unacceptable".

The mother claims the parcel had been issued by Chartwells, a private company contracted by the Department for Education, instead of £30 worth of vouchers.

Chartwells messaged the parent directly on Twitter, and said it was investigating.

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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."

It is believed parents of children who would normally qualify for free school meals have been given the option of food parcels or vouchers as schools close for remote learning during lockdown.

An investigation has been launched by The Department of Health.