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Newark: Food parcels sent to children eligible for free school meals described as 'shocking'

Food parcels being sent to families of children eligible for free school meals have been branded 'shocking' by a Newark charity supporting parents and their kids.

Families eligible for free school meals have had the option of food parcels or £30 vouchers while schools are shut due to national lockdown.

However, some people receiving the parcels have claimed their contents doesn't add up to much more than £5.

The food parcel received by a parent. Picture: RoadsideMum on Twitter (43923933)
The food parcel received by a parent. Picture: RoadsideMum on Twitter (43923933)

The parcel has been seen to contain: A loaf of bread, a bag of pasta, one can of baked beans, some cheese, three apples, two carrots, one tomato, two baked potatoes, two bananas, two malt loaf snacks and three snack size tubes of fromage frais.

Newark HomeStart, a charity supporting families, said the parcels were unacceptable.

"We were shocked to see the pictures of insufficient food that some families have received," said Sara Grant, senior organiser.

"Good nutrition is essential for children to survive and thrive and no family should be going hungry during lockdown.

"We are glad the government is looking into this as an urgent matter."

The response comes after a parent on Twitter called out the government on the food parcel she had received, tweeting: "I could do more with £30 to be honest."

She said the parcel she valued at just £5.22 was issued by Chartwells, a private company contracted by the Department for Education.

One parent even claimed some of the food shed received was packaged in money bags.

Footballer Marcus Rashford, who has been campaigning for free school meals, quoted the mum's tweet saying the package was unacceptable.

He tweeted: "Where is this being rolled out?

"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."

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner also retweeted the original Twitter post.

She said: "If the government is allowing companies to make money by providing cut price meals for hungry children we will fight for change. No child should be going hungry."

Have you received one of these food parcels as a replacement to free school meals? If so, please contact news@newarkadvertiser.co.uk

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