Cornwall news Parents say 'war rations were better' than 'unacceptable' meal parcels UK news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Cornwall - Free school meal vouchers are due to be reintroduced after controversy over the poor quality of the parcels
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Parents in Cornwall have aired their disgust over the poor quality of some free school meal parcels sent instead of food vouchers, or a hot meal during a school day. In a story which had such impact across the country that it caught the attention of football star-turned poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford, the Government this morning confirmed the return of free school meal vouchers as a national scheme. The parcels are being sent to parents to help feed their children while they are off school because of the Coronavirus lockdown. One parent from Threemilestone, who wished to remain anonymous, received a food parcel containing around £8 worth of food in the form of: 280 gram block of cheese 1kg onions Butternut squash 1kg pasta 1kg rice 1kg carrots 2kg potatoes 800g tinned tomatoes The parent said: “I was a chef for ten years, and I thought - what can I make with that? “No fresh fruit, no meat, what sort of healthy staple diet are you supposed to give your kids? “You could pick all of this up in Tesco for a few quid. They’re meant to provide on the assumption parents have nothing at home, for sometimes up to two weeks. “There’s nothing with it, it’s just terrible. War rations were probably better than this.” The food parcels are usually managed between a school and a catering company. The food parcel a parent from Threemilestone was given. (Image: Anon.) They are supposed to last for ten days, and be worth around £15 per school week, on the assumption the parents cannot afford to buy any other food for the children. Schools provide the parcels for the families of children on free school meals - those with low income - when they are not in school, with the Government until today (January 13) preferring them to food vouchers. Mum of two, Gemma, from St Bazey had been handed a food parcel which was supposed to last ten days in December. It contained: One small bag of pasta 5 small potatoes One tin of beans A small bag of pre-grated cheese 5 Tomatoes 5 Apples A head of lettuce which was going out of date Two small Soreens One loaf of bread Not only was this worth less than £10, Gemma said, it was also going out of date. “It was definitely at least a week or two old already. The carrots were past their best - soft and unspeakable, the tomatoes were soft and squishy, and the lettuce was going brown. “None of it was fresh food, you can’t make a hot dinner every day with that. If it were fresh, it could have stretched. “Home learning is already hard enough - if you don’t have a laptop you can’t do it, and I’m shielding and have had to use my disability benefits money to support my 11 -year-old boy’s learning. “To get this box was just demoralising. It was disgusting.
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. “They obviously know the old system was awful,” she added. “They had a lot of complaints - now I get £30 for 2 weeks. Got enough to cook him a proper meal every day for that time. “The box we had back in December, and the ones people are getting now, have no nutritional profile. At least in school with free school meals they have to follow a balanced diet.” Another parent in Helston, who also wished to remain anonymous, said they had been given regular dairy products for children known by the school to be lactose intolerant. The food parcel controversy came to national attention when Twitter account RoadsideMum shared a picture of a food parcel meant to last 10 days which contained: 2 potatoes A small block of cheese A can of baked beans 2 bananas 2 carrots 3 applies A tomato A small portion of pasta 3 Frubes They calculated the parcel was worth around £5.22 at their local Asda, where £30 was supposed to be spent on the two working weeks’ worth of food. RoadsideMum’s post was retweeted thousands of times, and caught the eye of activists Jack Monroe and Marcus Rashford, who put pressure on the Government to bring back a voucher system which lets parents buy food themselves. Cornwall Councillor Sally Hawken, cabinet member for children and public health, announced yesterday that all of the companies supplying food parcels in the county were being contacted for a check on quality of service. You can stay up-to-date on the top news near you with CornwallLive's FREE newsletters – find out more about our range of daily and weekly bulletins and sign up here or enter your email address at the top of the page. “We have contacted all of them, looked for reassurance that the quality is appropriate,” she said. “I got a picture last night from one mum and it was unacceptable, if I’d taken the £15 to any of our shops and spent it I’d end up with more on your table and more in your kitchen than I could see in that box.”
The hamper which a parent sent a photo of to Cllr Hawken. In a press release, Ms Hawken added: “It is not acceptable for less well-off families to be short-changed in this way. “I understand that these food parcels were delivered at short notice after the decision to close schools, but we also need to ensure what is being provided is nutritious, balanced and good value for money. “I welcome the government’s pledge to look into this matter.” Chartwells and Aspens, companies which Cornwall Council said had been delivering food parcels with schools, have been contacted for comment by Cornwall Live. Neither responded as of the time of publication.
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com - Cornwall