Buxton school shares photo of generous food parcel – five days’ worth of lunches

This picture shows a food parcel replacing the Government’s free school meal vouchers - put together by cooks at Buxton Community School to cover five lunches for one child.

By Ben McVay
Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 12:30 pm

It comes after parents across the country slammed caterers contracted by schools for the meagre contents of the food parcels they supplied.

Last week parents shared photos on social media showing scant rations with very little fruit and vegetables.

The pictures came after it emerged that the Department for Education was ‘encouraging’ schools to switch to the parcels instead of issuing £15 vouchers - which cover five days of lunchtime meals.

The generous Buxton Community School parcel pictured here is intended to provide five lunches for one child

Images showing tinned goods with very little nutritional value, processed cheese, and pathetically-small amounts of fruit were met with uproar - with many calling for suppliers of the boxes to be ‘shamed’.

The generous Buxton Community School parcel pictured here - intended to provide five lunches for one child - was prepared by cook Carl Bothamley.

He told how the offering - worth much more than £15 - was made possible by ‘using good suppliers who sell at a fair price’.

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He said: “Some of the parcels shown online were pretty bad so I thought I’d show what we’re doing at the school.”

In Carl’s photo the parcel contains a big bag of pasta, a passata sauce, tuna, apples, pears, oranges, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, nine bread rolls, drinks and yoghurts.

Last week Advertiser readers responded with anger on Facebook in some cases saying supply firms were ‘profiteering’ from the Government’s free school meal funding.

Carl said: “We’re just trying to help people who can’t afford to keep themselves during the pandemic.

“It does look as though some of these firms have been keeping some money for themselves.

“If the Government are giving them money to provide food then surely they should make sure they’re providing the right amount of food.”

Speaking about the inadequate meals offered by some suppliers High Peak MP Robert Largan said: “Clearly the food parcels that have appeared on social media are completely unacceptable.

“I’m pleased the Department for Education immediately began an investigation and has already met with the supplier in question.”

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 subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor