Tories accused of allowing private profit from free school meals

A mother has caused a political Twitter storm after questioning whether the government is getting value for money from a free school meals provider.

It’s after she posted the image of the contents of her food parcel for her child, which has now been retweeted over 15,000 times.

Credit: Twitter from @RoadsideMum

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has called the situation “a disgrace”, with Deputy Leader Angela Raynor even more vocal about what she labels “rotten cronyism”.

Credit: Twitter @AngelaRayner

Other images have surfaced of what appears to be further insufficient amounts of food for children.

This user was left fuming after her food was delivered in money bags.

Marcus Rashford MBE, the Manchester United footballer who successfully campaigned to continue free school meals last year, said it was “unacceptable” and “children deserve better than this.”

Other public voices have had their say

Former footballer and pundit. Credit: Twitter @StanCollymore
political commentator and Labour Activist Owen Jones. Credit: Twitter @OwenJones

The company supplying the food parcel, private firm Chartwells, replied directly to the unnamed woman, stating it ‘does not reflect the specification’ of one of their hampers, and that they will be ‘investigating immediately’.

It is not the first time the firm has faced the allegation of profiteering, after the headteacher at Easton Church of England Academy in Bristol embarked on a similar online shaming.

“If you are a child on free school meals in Bristol this is what you get for the week,” said Pete Overton.

He then goes on to quote a fee of £11 per child that the school pays Chartwells for each meal.

Children’s minister Vicky Ford has said she would “urgently” look into the matter.

The catering company is known to have Tory links, with their former chairman, Paul Walsh, once a member of David Cameron’s business advisory group.

Families eligible for free school meals have had their vouchers switched to parcels while schools are shut due to a third national lockdown in England.

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