North East UK news Mum sent 'insulting' school meal box - with guide to making a tuna sandwich PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Parents from across the North East have revealed their fury at the size - and quality - of the Government school meal boxes
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! A mum felt "insulted" after her daughter's free school meal package contained advice on making beans on toast. Furious Rachel Robley's was also given guidance on assembling a jacket potato after she received a meagre box of food to feed her six-year-old daughter, Hope. The food parcels have been widely slammed after their paltry contents came to light. Even PM Boris Johnson admitted on Wednesday that they are "unacceptable". They were posted to the thousands of North East children - learning at home due to the latest Covid-19 lockdown - who qualify for free school meals. However Rachel, and several other angry Tyneside parents, have revealed their fury at the quality of the food which officials insist should have contained around £30 of food. "There is no way on god's earth that it is worth £30," claimed Rachel, 34, who branded the contents "a joke". "We tried working it out last night and if we were being generous, it still doesn't go over a tenner. Rachel Robley hit out the food she was sent - and an 'insulting' letter sent which advised her, among other things, on what she may need to make beans on toast (Image: ChronicleLive) "The whole thing is infuriating." And her anger was amplified when she opened the package to find the "condescending" guidance which advises parents on what is needed for each meal. For beans on toast for example, parents are advised to use bread, baked beans and spread. "For me it certainly adds insult to injury," added the Wardley mum. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has now said that from next week, schools can once again offer families food vouchers instead of parcels. It follows backlash from parents, politicians and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford. Marcus Rashford (Image: Nigel French/PA Wire) The footballer, awarded an MBE for his summer school meals crusade, branded the parcels "unacceptable". Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer added they were "woefully inadequate", before asking: "Where is the money going?". At PMQs on Wednesday, even PM Boris Johnson slammed the parcels after earlier chatting with the campaigning footballer. Many North East parents have also cast doubts on the apparent £30 cost. One mum, Jessica Wright, claimed she was expected to feed her growing 12-year-old son with a package that contained little more than bread, milk, tuna fruit and veg and some spuds. Jessica Wright was sent this box of food for her son. While some items, including the bread and milk are not pictured, she hit out at the quality of what was given (Image: ChronicleLive) "When he is at school, he has a choice of snacks or drinks, but half the stuff in the box he wouldn't actually eat," said the 30-year-old, from Dunston.
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. Child poverty is rife in across the North East, In a typical classroom of 30 children , around 11 on average will be living in poverty. And Government statistics show that almost a quarter of the region's secondary pupils receive free school meals - more than anywhere else in England. However for Rachel, the decision to abandon the voucher system was a mistake - and hit out at the "cheap" alternative. "In no way is this a replacement for what she gets at school," she added., branding the quality of the goods "insulting".
Rachel Robley hit out the food she was sent - and an 'insulting' letter sent which advised her, among other things, on what she may need to make beans on toast (Image: ChronicleLive) "We get a menu there, and I'm happy with the meals. She enjoys them, they are hot and they fill her up. "But it is hard enough having to home school, so the last thing you want to worry about it feeding your child. "She was excited (by the parcel) as it felt like she was being given a packed lunch every day, but when she looked at it she said 'mam, this isn't even food'. "And I'm beyond frustrated. They were on course to get all of this resolved when they were giving out the vouchers but now we have this and it is just an insult." And they are not alone. A Newcastle mum, who asked not to be named, said the five-day parcel she received for her 12-year-old son was “shocking”. The package contained a loaf of brown bread, a tin of tuna, two tins of baked beans, a sandwich bag with a “small amount” of grated cheese, a plastic bag with pasta in, a large tin of peeled tomatoes, a lettuce, a cucumber, three tomatoes, three potatoes, two carrots, two yogurts, two satsumas, two apples and two small chocolate muffins. She said: “One tin of tuna only does my son two days - he doesn't eat beans, he doesn't like tomatoes, he only eats lettuce out of all the salad stuff and please tell me what do you do with three small potatoes and two carrots? “The pasta there is nothing to put with it - they have been badly thought through. “The overall content won't do five days and will not cost more than £5, if that.” Another Newcastle mum, whose parcel included bread, cereal and jam as well as cheese, tuna and beans, said: “With the vouchers I can get the things he likes. “How am I going to feed him with cereal at lunch?”
Schools can return to Government's school meal voucher scheme from Monday, Gavin Williamson says
Free school meals supplier 'to refund costs' after huge backlash over meagre meals Previously, ChronicleLive reported how one of the firms behind the meals had apologised over some of the meals it had delivered. Chartwells, which is part of Marcus Rashford's child food poverty task force, said costs would be refunded "where our parcels have not met our usual high standards"..
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