A photo of a British mom on social media of a box of food again put Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government and its commitment to school meals in the coronavirus pandemic in trouble.
Once again footballer Marcus Rashford, the “Robin Hood of schoolchildren”, returned to the front row to remind the prime minister of his commitment. The box they distribute to feed 2,400,000 British children it’s just embarrassing and costs £ 5 and not £ 30 for each one invoiced by the company that makes them.
The right to school meals has been one of the great controversies of the pandemic in Great Britain. Manchester footballer Marcus Rashford, now a billionaire and formerly a Briton who lived alongside his mother and siblings from food at school and food banks in Greater Manchester, became the face of this campaign for the government Johnson’s right would not cut thousands of students from the right to receive meals on vacation or when schools were closed in the pandemic.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson should have apologized for the food box scandal. Photo: AFP
Boris first ignored him. Marcus prevailed, made the government shame and bend the hand. He forced him to deliver the food. Queen Elizabeth decorated him with the Order of the Empire (OBE).
Marcus continues to militate. The kingdom admires him. It became a “role-model” in the health tragedy. This Wednesday he again put the government in a hole and forced Boris Johnson to call him and promise him that, once again, he would change his policy on school food.
One bread, one tomato, two carrots, two potatoes
When confinement returned, Boris Johnson promised to continue to send boxes of food to students worth £ 30 each.
The students’ families showed the photos of the boxes on social networks on Wednesday. All there was was a bread, a can of beans, two carrots, three apples, a single tomato, two potatoes, a bag of pasta, two loaves of malt bread, two bananas, a few slices of cheese, and three pots of yogurt. childish.
The mother, who tweeted under the name Roadside Mum, posted a photograph of the meal with the caption: “Issued in lieu of £ 30 coupons. To be honest, I could do more with 30 pounds. “
A couple carrots, bananas, two potatoes … the boxes of poor children’s meals in the dead of winter in the UK. Photo: Twitter
Mom had gone to ASDA, the cheapest of the British supermarkets. The total box shipped cost 5.22 pounds and not 30 pounds, as the government had promised.
It was Edenred, a private French company, which had been destined to supply these boxes. It was missing 25 pounds of the 30 promised. “The private company that has the free school meals contract made good profits here,” Mom wrote.
Marcus, the “Robin Hood” of the boys
Manchester forward Marcus Rashford was enraged. “Unfortunately, the images that appear online of free school lunch packages are shameful. Where does the money go? This needs to be classified immediately so that families do not go hungry during lockdown, “he tweeted.
The fifth European soccer player called it a “shameful act”. The footballer, who has been working with the NGO FareShare and supports The Times and Sunday Times Christmas Appeal In support of the food charity, he wrote: “Where is this being implemented? If families are entitled to food worth 30 pounds, why is the delivery only equal to just over 5 pounds? A child or 3, is this what they’re getting? Unacceptable”.
Manchester United player Marcus Rashford led the campaign to distribute the food and put the government in trouble. Photo: DPA
The soccer player shared another photograph of a box, destined to contain three days of food for a family. All there was was a can of beans, four apples, two cartons of juice, a carton of gelatin, a package of two cookies, a children’s malt chocolate, and several small packages with unidentified content.
Rashford wrote that children were expected to “participate in learning from home” during confinement, despite having so little food to live on. “Not to mention parents who sometimes have to teach them when they probably haven’t eaten all day so their kids can eat. We MUST do better. This is 2021.”
Boris Johnson called Marcus Rashford again on Wednesday. This was told by the Manchester United striker, after his “something is wrong” with the free deliveries of school meals. He said that the prime minister had promised him “a review of the supply chain of boxes of food for children with free school meals ”, After public outrage over photos on social media of substandard packages.
The Prime Minister’s Call to Rashford
“I just had a good conversation with the prime minister. You have assured me that you are committed to correcting the food box issue and that a full supply chain review is underway. He agrees that box images being shared on Twitter are unacceptable, “wrote Marcus on the networks.
The government said last week that it would open a national plan to provide grocery vouchers. But in the meantime, he would encourage schools to take a “food package first approach”, asking them to “work with your school catering team or food provider.”
After this third conversation between Marcus and Boris, always on good terms, the course was changed.
The head of government defended himself saying that they built the packages according to the feeding rules of the Ministry of Education. But he called “unacceptable” the photos that the British mother showed on the networks. But the food education guide was also regrettable: the photo was missing a can of sweet corn, a liter of milk, a package of ham, and two cans of meat to complete the calorie package. That would cost only 7 pounds and not 30. The difference between the package and the amount charged by the company continued.
A senior conservative source said there was “a clear difference between the government’s recommendations and boxes on social media, including meat, milk and eggs.” He added that the featured package on Tuesday “did not even meet the requirements of the department of education ”.
The controversial contract with a French company
The government confirmed that the French company Edenred would re-deliver the plan, despite the widespread criticism of long delays and delivery problems, when the service launched last year.
Following complaints from parents and principals, a report from the National Audit Office found that the government had signed contracts worth up to £ 425 million with Edenred, despite there being “limited evidence” of its ability to deliver.
The new weekly coupon program of 15 pounds per child will be available from next Monday. The company also operates in France in the distribution of restaurant tickets for workers.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, told BBC Breakfast: “Well, it’s clearly inappropriate, isn’t it? The company apologized and rightly so. Frankly, this is one of the good things about social media. This could come up so quickly, and then colleagues in the Department of Education got on with it right away. And they spoke with the company and the company apologized and it was solved ”.
“I think it is good that we can offer free school meals, even when the schools are not. But obviously they have to be decent meals and this was not the case,” the minister admitted.
“We are investigating this. We have clear guidelines and standards for food packages, which we hope will be followed. The packages must be nutritious and contain a variety of foods, “the education department said.
The package supplied to the first mother came from a company called Chartwells. The firm posted a message promising to “investigate immediately” and said, “Thank you for reporting this to us. This does not reflect the specification of one of our boxes.” The firm’s motto is: “Nourish the Body and Mind of Young People with Exceptional Food and Learning.”
Jack Monroe, the chef and author of “Cooking on a Bootstrap,” specializes in preparing nutritious meals on a budget. In response to Chartwells, he said: “This is not the only photo in circulation. I’ve had hundreds of photos that look like this one. “