A British mother shows everyone what kind of free school meals children receive from one of the richest countries in the world.
It is the food sent by the UK Government to families to feed their children while schools are closed due to restrictions imposed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
In this case, the package that caused the scandal was delivered by Chartwells.
As you can see in the photo posted by anonymous user Roadside Mum on Twitter, it has a loaf of bread, a bag of pasta, a can of baked beans, a little cheese, three apples, two carrots, a tomato, two baked potatoes, two bananas, two malt loaf sandwiches and three sandwich-size tubes of cheese.
#FreeSchoolMeals bag for 10 days:— Roadside Mum ???? (@RoadsideMum) January 11, 2021
2 days jacket potato with beans
8 single cheese sandwiches
2 days carrots
3 days apples
2 days soreen
3 days frubes
Spare pasta & tomato. Will need mayo for pasta salad.
Issued instead of £30 vouchers. I could do more with £30 to be honest. pic.twitter.com/87LGUTHXEu
The outraged mother claimed that, according to the authorities, this free school meal would be enough for her son for 10 days. As an alternative, the family could ask for a check for £ 30.
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“Issued instead of £30 vouchers. I could do more with £30 to be honest”he wrote on twitter.
The Roadside Mum image was seen by 28 million people on Twitter and shared by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, who campaigned to ensure families receive food during the lockdown. In addition, the athlete described the episode as “unacceptable”.
Rashford’s tweet provoked many responses from users talking about childhood hunger during the pandemic, also with images of other school meals. For example, this one with a rest of carrot and a quarter of onion:
So i didnt know a comment of support to another parent would cause such a reaction. But saying that it needed to be highlighted. We were given this in a paper bag. It consisted of a bag of pasta, granola, cheese and tomato soup mix (both in money bags!) Etc. pic.twitter.com/xl0uEa5IhN— Lisa T (@LMT1180) January 12, 2021
This is for two twelve year olds for a week:
And other one. This is for two twelve year olds for a week. pic.twitter.com/oMLy0ns8yP— Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) January 12, 2021
Or these with pieces of cooked ham, theoretically for an entire week:
Blackheath. Chartwells again. For a five year old for a week. Lettuce has basically no calories, it’s crunchy water fgs, what are they thinking?! Compare and contrast to the Dept of Educations own FSM legislation on food standards and provision for free school meals. pic.twitter.com/2AXnxrHxom— Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) January 12, 2021
2 slices of ham, three slices of cheese, one pear, one apple, two bags of crisps. For one child, for a WEEK. Are they meant to only eat on Tuesdays and Thursdays or something?!!! Also pictured, the Govt legislation on Free School Meals for comparison. pic.twitter.com/Jpg9PsyJoj— Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) January 12, 2021
The UK Government responsible for child affairs under Minister for Children Vicky Ford launched an urgent investigation, ensuring that Chartwells has already “rightly apologized and admitted that the package in question was not good enough.”
Judging by the abundance of complaints on Twitter, Chartwells has not been the only company involved in this story.