‘Not good enough’: Marcus Rashford condemns free school meal packages | School meals

Marcus Rashford has criticised free college meal packages being despatched to some youngsters and households studying from dwelling.

The parcels, which have been despatched to youngsters who would usually qualify free of charge college meals and at the moment are studying remotely throughout the nationwide lockdown, have been criticised on-line by dad and mom.

One tweet confirmed a package deal, supposedly containing £30 price of meals to final for 10 days, comprising only a loaf of bread, some cheese, a tin of beans, two carrots, two bananas, three apples, two potatoes, a bag of pasta, three Frubes, two Soreen bars and a tomato.

In response to a different put up, the Manchester United striker and anti-poverty campaigner tweeted: “3 days of meals for 1 household … Simply not ok”. In a later tweet, he added: “Then think about we count on the kids to have interaction in studying from dwelling. To not point out the dad and mom who, at instances, have to show them who in all probability haven’t eaten in any respect so their youngsters can … We MUST do higher. That is 2021.”

In response, the Division for Schooling tweeted: “Now we have clear tips and requirements for meals parcels, which we count on to be adopted.” The youngsters’s minister, Vicky Ford, mentioned she could be “urgently” look into the matter.

Chartwells, the corporate which she mentioned supplied the parcel meant to final for 10 days, mentioned it will examine. It mentioned: “Thanks for bringing this to our consideration, this doesn’t mirror the specification of one among our hampers.”

Keir Starmer described the state of affairs as “a shame”. The Labour chief tweeted: “The photographs showing on-line of woefully insufficient free college meal parcels are a shame. The place is the cash going? This wants sorting instantly so households don’t go hungry by means of lockdown.”

Rashford forced the government into a U-turn in June over the supply of free college meals for kids throughout the summer time holidays. It adopted a relentless social media marketing campaign, which earned Rashford an MBE final yr.

He pressured the federal government’s hand on youngster starvation as soon as once more within the autumn on increasing the free college meals programme by means of subsequent school holidays. The package deal included a £170m Covid winter grant scheme to help susceptible households in England and an extension of the vacation actions and meals programme to the Easter, summer time and Christmas breaks this yr.

The Division for Schooling mentioned it was additionally investigating the matter following Rashford’s tweets: “Now we have clear tips and requirements for meals parcels, which we count on to be adopted. Parcels ought to be nutritious and comprise a diverse vary of meals.”

However the native authorities minister Simon Clarke, who voted towards giving vouchers to assist feed youngsters throughout the college holidays, citing the billions the federal government had put into the welfare system throughout the pandemic, appeared to accuse the England star of “searching for to whip a storm up on Twitter”.

The federal government tips urge faculties to work with their catering groups or meals supplier to offer parcels to eligible pupils who’re studying from dwelling.

The guidelines state that the packages ought to comprise meals gadgets versus pre-prepared meals so dad and mom could make wholesome lunches for his or her youngsters. It provides that the baskets shouldn’t depend on dad and mom having further elements at dwelling and may cater for pupils of all diets.

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