Hungry child asked mum why she'd been put on diet as parents reveal abysmal food parcels & Rashford says 'fix this now'
A HUNGRY child asked their mum why she'd been put on a diet when she was served up a lunch from their food parcel.
It comes as parents today revealed their meagre free school meal replacements, designed to feed families for days, as Marcus Rashford blasted "fix this now".
Frantic parents shared pictures of potatoes and cans of beans, a loaf of bread and a block of cheese or boxes of cold chips after expecting food for a week.
Some said they hadn't received anything yet after weeks of waiting.
One mum said: "I've decided to take this as a challenge baring in mind that my children have the cooked school lunch. Day1. I cooked her small portion of pasta.
"Chopped & blended the 3 toms & heated up, added 3 slices of chopped ham, tossed in the cooked pasta and cucumber strips on the side.
For dessert she had the banana. For drink 1 bottle of the water. She was still hungry and asked why the school had put her on a diet.
"What's for the other 4 days is left is some ham, 2 oranges, 2 apples, 2 potatoes, 3 water and 1 tin of beans."
Those eligible for free school meals are entitled to £30 food vouchers, though some parents have stated they have received food bundles instead that cost a fraction of the price.
Rashford, who has long campaigned to keep kids fed throughout the pandemic through free school meals, said: "One thing that is clear is that there was very little communication with the suppliers that a national lockdown was coming.
"We MUST do better. Children shouldn’t be going hungry on the basis that we aren’t communicating or being transparent with plans. That is unacceptable."
Earlier today the Manchester United striker shared an image one mum posted of a parcel intended to feed her kids for ten days.
She claimed instead of £30 worth of food, she only got a bundle worth £5.22 to last for ten days.
The mum posted a photo showing bread, cheese, potatoes and beans, among other items, adding: "Issued instead of £30 vouchers. I could do more with £30 to be honest."
Rashford fumed: "If families are entitled to £30 worth of food, why is there delivery only equating to just over £5?! 1 child or 3, this what they are receiving? Unacceptable."
He followed this up by tweeting: "Children deserve better than this…"
The Prime Minister's spokesperson said this afternoon: "Those images showing those food parcels were completely unacceptable. The DfE is looking into this urgently.
"The minister for children, Vicky Ford is speaking to the company responsible, they are making it clear boxes like these should not be given to families.
"Schools should work with their eligible teams to provide food parcels."
They added the Department for Education is going to reopen the voucher scheme for free school meals soon.
Parents on their parcels:
Dad-of-one Simon Young, 50, said the so-called hamper was barely enough to feed daughter Lola, 11, for three days She qualifies for free school meals, and earlier in the lockdown unemployed Simon got £30 vouchers he could spend at the supermarket.
He estimates the food he was given to feed his daughter cost about £4.
He said: "To see what food we were given, my first reaction was to laugh at how tiny the portions were.
"I remember thinking 'this is an absolute joke.' "I have an 11-year-old daughter, and for her, that food will last three days, maximum, so then what am I supposed to do?
"This is not enough to feed a growing child."
Another mum was told how she was forced to throw away the meagre package she got because it contained open fresh food products that weren't refrigerated.
The 34-year-old single mum from Plymouth picked up the parcel for her six-year-old son who qualifies for free school meals, last week.
The mum, who worked for ten years before recent ill health, said: "They gave me it in a plastic carrier bag and some of the lids were broken or cracked.
"I was really shocked, if I'm honest with you.
"There were around tablespoons of beans, a little bit of cheese, two tablespoons of tuna, a little box of pasta, and a couple of tablespoons of chopped tomatoes – but that was mostly just the juice.
"That's supposed to be for a week.
"I didn't know how long it had been out the fridge and it was fresh food, so I had to chuck it out, as bad as that is. Especially at the moment, you have to be so careful about health.
"I'm lucky – I have got my parents.
Three Lions hero Rashford forced a Government U-turn over vouchers in the summer holidays and was recently awarded an MBE.
Rashford has raised £20million for FareShare and has helped out in Manchester foodbanks with his mum Melanie.
He has previously told how the single mum relied on free meals and did 14-hour shifts to feed him and his four siblings growing up.
Both the Department of Health and the Department for Education said they were looking into it, after claims of other small deliveries were made.
Rashford teamed up with Child Food Poverty Taskforce last month to stop kids going hungry over the Christmas break.
In a statement on Twitter the Department for Education said: "We are looking into this.
"We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed. Parcels should be nutritious and contain a varied range of food."
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: "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."
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