Revealed: The striking similarities between shameful meal parcels and Government guidance
Labour today reveals that the Government’s own guidance on what should be in food parcels is strikingly similar to images circulating on social media in recent days – with less than a 50p daily difference.
It comes as the party steps up pressure for the Government to ensure families are getting the full value of Free School Meals support.
Ministers have described images circulating in recent days as “completely unacceptable.”
The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, told the Education Select Committee that “it will not be tolerated we will not live with that.”
But research from Labour suggests that the packages aren’t as far removed from Government guidance as ministers are suggesting.
Guidance written by the Department for Education and pointed to from gov.uk suggests “general principles for putting together” parcels. And the similarities between them and the images circulating are striking.
The key items missing are two ‘tins of meat’, a litre of milk and a tin of sweetcorn. A leading UK supermarket prices this at about 47p of food a day.
This doesn’t include items that are not in the guidance but in the picture, such as Soreen and pasta.
|Widely shared image on social media||Government guidance|
|1 x loaf of bread||1 x loaf of bread|
|2 x potatoes||2 x potatoes|
|1 x tomato||3 x tomatoes|
|5 x portions of fruit||5 x portions of fruit|
|? x cheese portions||3 x cheese portions|
|1 x tin of baked beans||1 x tin of baked beans|
|3 x yoghurts||3 x individual serving yoghurt pots|
|1 x bag of pasta||1 x cucumber|
|2 x packets Soreen||1 x tin sweetcorn|
|2 x carrots||1 x bottle milk|
|2 x tin of meat|
Tulip Siddiq MP, Labour’s Shadow Children and Early Years Minister, said:
“The images that have been circulating on social media are shameful. But these revelations about the Government’s own guidance means that ministers’ newfound concern rings hollow. A couple of tins and a bottle of milk isn’t the difference between acceptable or unacceptable.
“The Government’s response has yet again been far too slow, with national food vouchers only becoming available from next week – two weeks after schools moved to remote learning.
“Children are going hungry now – this cannot wait.”