Marcus Rashford has become a national hero for his campaigning to ensure that no child goes hungry.
The footballer has been sharing tweets, outraged at the contents of food boxes that have been given to parents. The third lockdown is a difficult time for many parents who rely on free school meals to help their children.
The boxes are supposed to contain £30 worth of food, as a replacement for vouchers that used to be given out to spend on food shopping. The previous vouchers had restrictions so they couldn’t be spent on alcohol or age-restricted products.
Many people have been sharing pictures of what their food box contains, and social media users are very unhappy.
One of the parcels is supposed to last for 10 days, and includes: 2 potatoes, one tin of beans, a loaf of bread, eight single cheese slices, two carrots, three apples, two bananas, two Soreen slices and three yoghurts along with some pasta and single tomato.
Marcus Rashford has been challenging suppliers of this after one of the recipients calculated the cost of the contents to be closer to £5 rather than £30.
People have been replying with their experiences.
Many people have been expressing their unhappiness with the scheme.
Chartwells, one of the suppliers, replied to a complaint with: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention, this does not reflect the specification of one of our hampers. Please can you DM us the details of the school that your child attends and we will investigate immediately.”
The Department of Education has also said they are investigating, tweeting: “We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed. Parcels should be nutritious and contain a varied range of food.”
Back May, a YouGov poll commissioned by the charity Food Foundation found that 2.4 million children (17%) are living in food insecure households. By October it was reported an extra 900,000 children had been registered for free school meals.
This latest uproar comes just weeks after charity UNICEF stepped in to help children in the UK. UNICEF has worked in 190 countries across the globe to try and help vulnerable children for more than 70 years. Unfortunately, the pandemic means that the UK has now been added to the list they are helping.
Anna Kettley, of UNICEF UK, told Sky News: “We feel it’s critical to come together at this time. It’s the first time which we’re recognising that this is an unprecedented situation which requires everyone to roll their sleeves up, step in and support children and families that need it most at this time.”
What do you think should be done?
Images via Alamy and Twitter/RoadsideMum