Government food parcels labelled ‘insulting and unsafe’ by South Yorkshire mum

A South Yorkshire mum has described the food parcel she received for two of her children in the place of a free school meals voucher as ‘insulting’ and possibly unsafe.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 5:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th January 2021, 12:17 pm

Jade Leigh, aged 30, from Rotherham, has four children, with her seven-year-old and her 12-year-old both attending different schools in the town.

Her food parcel included six slices of bread in an opened unsealed packet, half a block of butter wrapped in clingfilm and three chocolate muffins, again in an unsealed packet.

There were also two tiny pots of tuna, again unsealed with a sticker saying they were to be consumed within three days, two sandwich bags tied in a knot with a small handful of cheese in each and two tins of beans.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A food parcel sent to Jade Leigh, of Rotherham, for her two school aged children.

She said: “If this is what is classed to feed children then this is atrocious and I think it should be in the local paper.

“I think the government should be ashamed! If this is to feed our children for one week then our children are going to starve.

“The food has been unsealed, opened and man handled and obviously isn't safe to be eaten as anybody could have touched it. It was also left on the doorstep - birds, cats or anything could have been on it.”

Jade added she thought the idea of the parcels was good, but that the least families could expect was that the produce was edible and safe.

“Families out there are starving and sending food like this is insulting,” she said.

“I am guessing other people have received the same type of parcels and 90 per cent of them will not feed their children this due to health and safety and cross contamination.

“Therefore more food has been wasted.”

After images of the food parcels received by families across the country began to circulate on social media, Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted they were ‘unacceptable’ and the company responsible for packaging them apologised.

However, analysis by the Labour Party has shown that the packages are ‘strikingly similar’ to the Government’s own guidance on what such parcels should include.

They said the difference in cost between what was in the packages and what the Government said they should contain was less than 50p.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.