MP demands action on food parcels

A food parcel in place of free school meals.

This food parcel comprised just two tins of tomatoes, six tins of beans, some pasta, a packet of rice, two cartons of fruit juice and some vegetables. It was supposed to last two weeks and be worth £30. - Credit: Archant

St Albans MP Daisy Cooper is requesting parents are given vouchers to replace free school meals after pictures of "woefully inadequate" food parcels were shared on social media.

In her capacity as the Liberal Democrats spokesperson for education she has written to the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson to urge him to investigate the scandal.

Constituents tweeted her photos of parcels they had received, including one parcel which comprised just two tins of tomatoes, six tins of beans, some pasta, a packet of rice, two cartons of fruit juice and some vegetables. This was supposed to last two weeks and be worth £30.

Daisy said: "It is completely unacceptable that parents around the country and here in St Albans have received woefully inadequate food parcels in place of free school meals.

"The amount of food parents have received to feed their children is not anything like enough to provide an adequate, nutritious lunch every day. Nor do they appear to represent value for money, given what the parcels should theoretically be worth.


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"I have written to the Secretary of State asking him to investigate the situation urgently and replace these abysmal parcels with food vouchers.

"Time and time again, this Government has let children and families down on the issue of free school meals, which are critical to the education and future of so many children.

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"Thankfully, here in St Albans, the St Albans and District Foodbank and other community groups are stepping up once again to provide additional fresh items to help families make more and better meals until the Conservative Government hopefully provides something better."

Schools organise food parcels through their normal catering provider, so it will vary from school to school. HCL (Herts Catering Limited) supply most schools in Hertfordshire. HCL have stated that the parcel pictured in this story was not provided by them.

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