UK news Free school meals supplier will refund costs after huge backlash last minute news
MetiNews.Com - Marcus Rashford and several MPs criticised the food parcels, which were branded unacceptable
Breaking News ! A company who provides free school meals has announced that it will refund costs after a backlash to their inadequate food supplies. Following pictures of meagre lunch parcels and hampers circulating social media, Chartwells - a company who provides parcels and signed up to Marcus Rashford's child food poverty taskforce - said that costs would be refunded "where our parcels have not met our usual high standards". The scarce lunches caused outrage when pictures of the few items of food supposed to last a whole week if not ten days were widely criticised by prominent activists, including Marcus Rashford, who branded such provision "unacceptable", reports the Mirror. Rashford, who forced the government to U-turn on its decision to stop its free school meals voucher system during holidays, said communication had been one of the underlying causes of inadequate service. England footballer Marcus Rashford has led a national campaign to feed vulnerable children during the school holidays (Image: Fareshare/Mark Waugh/PA Wire) "We MUST do better", said the Manchester United striker on Twitter. "Children shouldn’t be going hungry on the basis that we aren’t communicating or being transparent with plans. That is unacceptable." The Mirror also reported that a hungry child asked her mother whether her school had put her on a diet after receiving inadequate school meals. Another mother, who Tweeted a picture of food provided by Chartwells, criticised the parcel she received which supposedly contained 10 days worth of food. A major school meal provider, Chartwells is not behind all the pictures that circulated online in the Twitter storm over free meals, but it apologised for the shortfall. Read More Related Articles Mum slams free school meal food parcel branded 'woefully inadequate' Read More Related Articles Increase in demand for free school meals 'very concerning' in Cambridgeshire The company said in a previous statement: "In our efforts to provide thousands of food parcels a week at extremely short notice we are very sorry the quantity has fallen short in this instance." Besides providing refunds, the food supplier said it would contact "every school" to pin down where any shortages may have occurred and "we will apologise to anyone affected".
.50 funding allocation as of next Monday and ensure "that every penny goes into the provision of the food". "Chartwells is committed to continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure the best possible provision for children in schools," the statement reads. The Department for Education, which is understood to have met with Chartwells following the backlash, responded to one of the pictures saying: "We are looking into this. 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." MPs joined Rashford in condemning the inadequate parcels. Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner added: "Really concerning reports of woefully inadequate food parcels being given to families. "Yet more issues with the Government’s free school meals scheme - they must urgently investigate. We cannot have children going hungry during lockdown. While Chelmsford MP Vicky Ford said: "The photos being shared on social media last night and today are completely unacceptable and do not reflect the high standard of free school meals we expect to be sent to children." She said she had spoken to Chartswell's CEO who had assured her "immediate action" would be taken to stop the supply of the "poor-quality parcels".