London — A food package spread out on a carpet included an assortment of cans of beans, fruits, vegetables, snacks, sliced bread and cheese — offering a free lunch to low-income students Provided by the government program.
However, when photos of the package delivered to students at home by the blockade were disseminated on social media this week, they were blamed by hunger eradication activists such as parents and soccer star Marcus Rashford.
Critics said the part was small, expressing concern about whether children were getting enough nutrition during the coronavirus pandemic, and the government overpaid them.
“Public funding was charged £ 30, or more than $ 40,” one parent said on Twitter with a widely shared photo of one package that said it would last for 10 days. “I would have bought this for £ 5.22,” she said, compared to a local supermarket product.
Chartwells, the contractor responsible for providing lunch packages distributed on Twitter, said on Tuesday that the photo included enough for a five-day school lunch instead of a ten-day fee, including the distribution cost. He said it was about $ 14 in total.
But that alone isn’t enough to ease the protest, and on Wednesday the government announced that it would resume a voucher program next week that would give parents the option to buy their own meals.
In this program, schools receiving funding to provide lunch to low-income students earned an incentive to send a lunch package home. According to the Ministry of Education website, food is used to prepare a “healthy lunch” and should accommodate students with a “special diet”.
The mother, whose photos became a hot topic, said she welcomed the turnaround news. “Most people can get far more mileage from their vouchers than they have in their bags or boxes,” said a woman, identified only as Lisa, on a major conversational radio station in the UK. Told.
On Monday, Chartwells said it would “apologize to those affected” by refunding the cost “if our food parcels do not meet our usual high standards”. They added that the package, which ships from January 25, will include a complimentary breakfast.
Rashford, who played for Manchester United and was the driving force behind a free meal program during a pandemic, called the package “unacceptable.” Boris Johnson said he promised him “Complete supply chain review”.
“We have revealed to the companies involved that this is shameful because these food parcels do not meet the standards we have set,” Johnson said on Twitter.
“The photos shared on social media last night and today are completely unacceptable and do not reflect the high standards of free school lunches expected to be sent to children,” said the Minister of Children and Family. Vicky Ford said.
However, some critics accused the government of shifting responsibility to contractors and said that those left behind in the society facing Britain deep inside another blockade were a sign of broader struggle. ..
“It’s really shocking to see the profits coming from this crisis,” said Cass Dalmeny, chief executive officer of Sustain, a food and agriculture charity. She said she lacked transparency on how big companies would win contracts and the government wasn’t fully aware that low-income families struggled to get food during the blockade. Added.
The free meal program was offered to students in government-sponsored households, including students with an annual income after tax of less than £ 7,400.
However, families who earn above that threshold also struggle to get food on the table, Dalmeny said.
“Even in a pandemic, there is a deep political prejudice among our governments towards giving people money,” she added. “Unfortunately, it is the children who suffer.”
According to the Goodrow Project, a governance oversight body, the incident was part of a pattern in which private companies were given government contracts at the expense of quality to maximize profits. Johnson’s government has made billions of dollars worth of pandemic contracts with companies that have political ties, no history of relevant experience or controversy, and are often tracking them quickly ahead of their competitors. Gave
“There is a culture in which the central government is not interested in providing quality service to its people,” said Jorion Morgan, director of the group, more to pursue accountability and transparency. He added that a method is needed.
According to government statistics, about 1.4 million children requested free school lunch during the 2019-2020 school year.
In the photo, Dalmeny spoke to people’s hearts and said they became viral. “If you imagine feeding a child on it, weekly weekly.”
“Unacceptable” food packages for poor children swiftly protest in the UK
Source link “Unacceptable” food packages for poor children swiftly protest in the UK