Free school meals provider Chartwells has apologised after a furious mum posted a picture online of a ‘disgraceful’ food package she had received.
It was estimated the frugal parcel – branded a “disgrace” by Labour leader Keir Starmer – contained just over £5 worth of food.
Footballer Marcus Rashford also voiced his shock, saying it was ‘just not good enough’.
Following the backlash, the company has admitted that quantity had fallen short “in this instance”.
A spokesman for Chartwells said: “We have had time to investigate the picture circulated on Twitter.
“For clarity this shows five days of free school lunches (not ten days) and the charge for food, packing and distribution was actually £10.50 and not £30 as suggested.
“However, 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.
“Our ten-day hampers typically include a wide variety of nutritious food items to support the provision of lunches for children.
“We are further enhancing our food parcels following the Department for Education’s additional allowance of £3.50 per week per child in line with nutritional guidelines, in addition we welcome the DofE procurement notice for schools issued today.”
They added: “We would like to thank Marcus Rashford and the Permanent Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, Vicky Ford, for their collaboration as we navigate these difficult times.”
Birmingham mums and dads have been sharing photos of the free school meal food parcels they’ve received this week.
Becky Holloway said: “I had two bread, ten packets of hula hoops, tin of corn beef, tin of macaroni cheese, eight chocolate muffins, ten little packs of biscuits and a big tin of beans can to a grand total of about £4.59 and that was for two weeks!”
Hana Lovin Hana added: “I have to go and collect them from my children’s schools that are two buses away for a loaf of bread, some baked pots and a few apples – it’s really not worth the bus fare!”