British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday criticized the “disgraceful” free school meal packages sent to British families in need during the nationwide lockdown, saying he was working with the company that provided the meals to remedy the situation. His comments come after Manchester United superstar Marcus Rashford shared photos of the skinny packed lunches earlier this week.
Rashford, who has been battling child hunger in the UK during the pandemic, on Monday highlighted the quality of meals that families received. After a Twitter user posted a picture showing two carrots, a loaf of sliced bread, three apples, two bananas and a few other things ̵
In another post, Rashford said the meals were “just not good enough.”
“Then imagine that we expect the children to participate in learning from home. Not to mention the parents who sometimes have to teach them, who probably have not eaten at all, so that their children can … We MUST make it better. This is 2021, “he wrote.
Tweets showing the meals received criticism online, prompting Chartwells, a free school meal company, to apologize on Wednesday.
Rashford also told his Twitter followers on Wednesday that he had a conversation with the prime minister that “assured” Rashford that he would investigate “correcting the problem.” Johnson also tweeted that the company agreed to “reimburse those affected.”
“I completely agree with you Marcus Rashford, these food packages do not meet the standards we have set and we have made it clear to the company involved that this is shameful,” he said.
Still, Rashford, who was addicted to the free school meal program as a child, called for a study of the system as a whole.
“Our eyes are open. Now is the time for a complete overhaul of the Free School Meal system,” he said.
According to the BBC, the packages must contain foods that parents can use to prepare healthy lunches for five days, and children of all ages may be eligible if they live in households receiving income-related benefits.