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Boris Johnson Assures Marcus Rashford He Is 'Committed' To Correcting School Food Hamper Issue

Boris Johnson Assures Marcus Rashford He Is 'Committed' To Correcting School Food Hamper Issue

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he's 'committed' to correcting the free school meal hamper issue in a conversation with footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford.

Rashford tweeted: "Just had a good conversation with the Prime Minister. He has assured me that he is committed to correcting the issue with the food hampers and that a full review of the supply chain is taking place.

"He agrees that images of hampers being shared on Twitter are unacceptable."

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The comments follow huge backlash after images of what was being offered in the £30 hampers circulated online.

One such package, which was supposedly meant to last for five days, included two potatoes, one tin of beans, a loaf of bread, eight single cheese slices, two carrots, three apples, two bananas, two Soreen slices and three yogurts along with some pasta and single tomato.

Another parent was shocked to receive what he said was £7.20 worth of food, including a cup of undated tuna.

Nick, 36, from the South West, is currently completing his teacher training while his partner was unfortunately made redundant at the start of the pandemic. The couple are also full time carers to their two disabled daughters.

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Speaking to LADbible, dad-of-five Nick said: "We got a phone call from the school to say that it was ready and to come and collect it. I didn't say anything to the school as we collected it, just sort of scratched my head at how it was presented and that it's not labelled, and it's in a cup.

"I was also thinking I'm not quite sure how we're going to create a substantial and proper meal for them, other than one day of jacket potatoes.

"When I opened it up I just felt really demoralised."

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Sharing a photo of another hamper, Rashford tweeted: "3 days of food for 1 family... 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."

Marcus Rashford. Credit: PA
Marcus Rashford. Credit: PA

The images prompted people to question how Chartwells, the company awarded the contract to distribute the food, could justify the cost of what was provided.

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A spokesperson for Chartwells told LADbible the charge was actually £10.50 per parcel.

A statement 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.

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"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.

"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."

Featured Image Credit: PA

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Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]