Images have been circulating online of some unacceptable food parcels which have been given to students entitled for free school meals but are not able to attend school. Some were claiming that the food parcels were supposed to feed children for two weeks and were costing the taxpayer £30. Both of these claims are not true.

The food parcels, including packing and delivery cost £10.50 and were supposed to provide lunches for one child for five days. The food was supposed to be a short term substitute for free school lunches when schools don’t have food safety certificates to deliver hot food. The Prime Minister and Education Secretary have made it very clear that the food shown in some of the images was completely unacceptable and did not meet the standard set out by the Government. The image above shows an example of what the standard set by Government was to cover five lunches. The catering companies who provided the unacceptable parcels have apologised and accepted they did not fulfil the required standard..

The Government has acted and has resolved this problem. It has further increased funding to schools to provide food to £15 per child per week. Schools will be given the power to make the best decisions on how to use this funding to support their students. Moving forward they will have the option to provide lunch parcels through their existing caterers, providing vouchers for a local shop or supermarket or use the national voucher scheme which will reopen on Monday.