“It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you.”
George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
Back in October, I wrote an article about how British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his party refused to feed children dependent on free school meals over the school holidays in the midst of the UK’s second national lockdown. It wasn’t until footballer Marcus Rashford challenged them that they made a U-turn. Now in our third national lockdown (because of the failure of this government to make definitive and quick decisions in regards to coronavirus, but that’s another story), they are failing to feed the children…again!
Initially, the Tories provided those dependent on free school meals with £30 food vouchers through their corporate service provider Edenred. Indeed, it seemed Edenred would come back for the third lockdown, with schools closed once again. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson stated in Parliament that “extra funding” would be provided to support children eligible for free school meals. Williamson told MPs, “Where schools cannot offer food parcels or use local solutions, we will ensure a national voucher scheme is in place so every eligible child can access free school meals while their school remains closed”. However, this seemed to be another lie from our Government, only a week on from that announcement, and children eligible for free school meals aren't receiving £30 food vouchers, but sub-par food boxes.
The boxes were meant to provide 10 days worth of lunches during lockdown school closures, but parents have shared the contents on social media and the results are woeful. Take the above example, 2 jacket potatoes, 1 can of beans, 2 carrots, 3 apples. 2 fruit bars, 3 yoghurts, and 8 single cheese sandwiches (the pasta and tomato pictured are spares the mother had from a previous shop). To quote Marcus Rashford, “If families are entitled to £30 worth of food, why is there delivery only equating to just over £5?!”. This is…