Free school meal parcels deemed inadequate

There have been calls to improve the quality of food parcels for children eligible for free school meals while working from home.

The calls came after a mum posted the photo of her food parcel which included two carrots, two potatoes, a tin of baked beans and a small range of other food items, which she calculated to have cost about £5.

Other parents then joined in to complain about the quality and quantity of the food in parcels, with Marcus Rashford also sharing images of some parcels online, calling them "not good enough".

The mother had thought it was supposed to last 10 school days and should have been worth £30.

But Chartwells, the company that provided the parcel, said it was only meant to last one school week and had cost £10.50 for food, packing and distribution. It also said it had been required to provide thousands of food parcels at extremely short notice but acknowledged it was insufficient.

Children's minister Vicky Ford said the food parcels being shared online were unacceptable and do not reflect the high standard of free school meals.

She said in a statement: "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.

"They will ensure schools affected are compensated and they will provide additional food to the eligible child in line with our increased funding."