Marcus Rashford has condemned the food parcels being given out by the UK government to families and children learning at home.
The Manchester United star and child food poverty campaigner criticised the meals after parents took to social media to share the food parcels, which have been sent to children who normally qualify for free school meals, during the national lockdown.
Rashford shared an image of one package which shows 3 days worth of food containing four apples, a tin of beans, two cartons of juice, a pouch of jelly, two snacks and a number of white paper bags with contents which weren’t specified.
“3 days of food for 1 family,” Rashford wrote on Twitter. “Just not good enough.”
He added: “Then imagine we expect the children to engage in learning from home. Not to mention the parents who, at times, have to teach them who probably haven’t eaten at all so their children can … We MUST do better. This is 2021.”
In response, the children’s minister Vicky Ford said she is “urgently” looking into the matter, with the Department for Education adding that they have “clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed.”
Chartwells, the company which allegedly provided the parcel, responded to say they would investigate.
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, this does not reflect the specification of one of our hampers,” Chartwells said.
In another tweet from a social media user, they shared an image of a parcel containing £30 worth of food to last for 10 days, which included: 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.
Labour leader Keir Starmer described the matter as “a disgrace, writing in a tweet: “The images appearing online of woefully inadequate free school meal parcels are a disgrace. Where is the money going? This needs sorting immediately so families don’t go hungry through lockdown.”
Rashford’s condemnation of the food parcels come after he successfully forced the government into providing free school meals to children last summer, before forcing the government to expand the free school meals programme through the holidays in autumn.