Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he was “absolutely disgusted” by the standards of some food packages sent to children with free school meals, and pledged to support any school that takes action against suppliers. .
Mr Williamson said he was ready to ‘name and shame’ any suppliers providing substandard packaging, and confirmed that a national voucher program will be launched next week to give schools the opportunity to remove food packages.
Meal supplier Chartwells apologized last night after an outcry over social media images of meager-content packages intended to provide lunches for children for several days.
Footballer and anti-charity activist Marcus Rashford has spearheaded calls for improved ‘baskets’, which are supposed to replace a £ 15-a-week voucher scheme, but which a mother cost a little more than £ 5 of purchases at a local. supermarket.
Speaking to the House of Commons Education Committee, Mr. Williamson said: “When I saw this picture, I was absolutely disgusted. As a father myself, I just asked myself, “How can a family that receives it really be supposed to provide five nutritious meals as needed?”
“It’s just not acceptable. It has been made clear to Chartwells and the industry as a whole that this sort of behavior is just not right, it will not be tolerated, we will not live with it.
“There are clear standards as a sector that they have to meet, and if they don’t meet them, action will have to be taken.”
Mr Williamson said Education Minister Vicky Ford met Chartwells on Tuesday.
And he added: “Chartwells made it clear that this was not acceptable and they apologized for it.
“We will support any school that needs to take action against any food manufacturer and name and shame those who do not meet the standard.”
Mr Williamson told the committee that schools in England already have the option of using local voucher schemes with nearby supermarkets.
And he said the national voucher system will be available to all schools from next week.