Crappy School Lunch Photos Goes Viral — And People Are Pissed

Lizzy Francis
·4 min read

The UK government is in hot water after photos of measly meals they delivered to school-aged kids on lockdown have gone viral.

People are pissed about free school lunches in the United Kingdom after a concerned parent posted a photo of her child’s lunch delivery that went viral. The lunches, which are free to students, were delivered across the country as students have been learning remotely as a result of surging COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the country that is being swept by the UK ultra-contagious variant of the virus.

As a result of the school closures and the national lockdown, the vast majority of UK kids are learning remotely, except for the children of essential workers like those who work in hospitals. Because of that, the UK government, partnered with a food service company called Chartwells, (so British!) had food parcels delivered to kids in the United Kingdom. The packages were supposed to be ten meals of food worth thirty pounds so that parents could feed their children every school day without shouldering the load of lunches that are usually free. But what the parents got in those parcels are a sight to be seen.

One UK mom, @RoadsideMum on Twitter, posted a photo on Twitter of the “food kit” that included: a loaf of bread, a can of beans, three apples, a tomato, two unsliced, unwashed carrots, two whole potatoes, two browned bananas, and eight slices of cheese. There’s also pasta in a plastic bag.

One United Kingdom mom chimed in with an equally abysmal meal — with food items in non-food grade packaging, including dried pasta in sandwich bags, half-portions wrapped in plastic, one egg, and one carrot. Again, these are supposed to be proper, nutritious, varied meals for ten days for a child.

More than one person shared what 30 euros of food could look like — a photo of abundant fruit, vegetables, milk, meats, carbs, and more — vs. what was provided by Chartwells. The difference is, uh, stark, and reveals that parents would perhaps be better by being given direct csh to feed their kids than whatever Chartwells put together as a series of school “meals.”

But perhaps some of the worst offenses are the fact that the people packing the meals cut up, or even tore up, some vegetables to make them “portions.” How is half of a tomato supposed to last 10 meals? Half of a bell pepper? A bite of carrot?

The scandal has continued to unfold — with allegations that even after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the meals unacceptable and not up to their standards that Chartwells, run by Dominic Blakemore, was actually following, largely, what the UK government had set out as a standard. They also went on Twitter to claim that the packages were supposed to be for five meals, not 10, although even these photos don’t reveal five meals of food. Meanwhile, people asked the government to stop giving out food parcels and partnering with for-profit companies to do so poorly and to give people vouchers so that they can feed their children the way they see fit — not with half a bell pepper and an egg. Apparently, according to The Mirror, they listened and will start giving families 15 pound meal vouchers on Monday, giving parents more control over how they can feed their kids.

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