Published — 13 January, 2021

MP’s shock at free school meal packages

In the first school week of the new lockdown pupils eligible for free school meals have been receiving packed lunches.  However, the adequacy of these packages has already been questioned by local MP Andrew Jones.

Mr Jones was contacted by a constituent in Knaresborough who told him that she had received two pre-packed sandwiches, two mini yoghurts, an apple, an orange and two potatoes to feed her son for five days.

This simply isn’t good enough.

There are reports that the companies distributing this food have been paid £30 for a week’s food but you could buy what my constituent received for a few pounds.  Fortunately my constituent can manage this week but that isn’t the point.

Surely it would have been better and cheaper to give parents a loaf of bread and the ingredients to make their own sandwiches rather than send supermarket pre-packs?  It would have been more nutritious too.  What has been sent seems to me to be completely inadequate.  Whichever companies are being used to supply the meals need to buck their ideas up and do it pronto.”

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough

Mr Jones is attending a briefing with children’s minister, Vicky Ford, this evening where he and other MP’s are asking for her to investigate the shortcomings as a matter of urgency.

Where companies have failed to provide a proper service they need to be held to account.  Where they can’t provide adequate lunches they need to be replaced.  This is a problem that needs to be gripped fast.”

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough

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