Mum furious after being sent pot of flour to bake bread in free school meals parcel

MUMS and dads handed food parcels from a London academy established by a former Tory minister were handed pots of flour – and told to bake their own bread.

Boris Johnson has today promised an investigation after desperate parents were sent meagre lunch packages for their children during the national lockdown.

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And it's now been revealed that pupils at Future Academy chain school Pimlico Academy were instead given just ingredients – alongside expensively-printed menu cards.

Families on low incomes and receiving free school meals at the school were instructed to bake eight bread rolls, taking up to an hour to make.

One parent told PoliticsHome: “This is disgraceful.

“It’s a really nice printed recipe book with really nice pictures on it.

"So the time and money they spent on printing on those papers, it’s just ridiculous.

“If they just give us a £15 voucher I can get five days of food and it will be more nutritional than what they are providing to us.

“It’s very humiliating.

"Why would you decide for us? Why not give us the money?

"Last time we used the vouchers and it worked well.

"And it’s not true you can spend it how you like – for example, you couldn’t buy ice-cream. It has to be nutritional food. It’s regulated.

“For the bread rolls, you need to spend 15 minutes kneading this bread, then time to prepare it, then in the oven.”

The package, meant for a teenager, also contains 100g of cheese – meant to be used for a jacket potato and an omelette – while another recipe recommends using 10g of tomato soup powder as a sauce for pasta.

A single onion, carrot and green pepper should be split three ways between stir-fry rice, vegetable noodles, and for the pasta sauce.

The parent has three children, and gets two boxes for the teenagers attending Pimlico Academy.

However, the youngest child – who goes to another school in the academy chain's group, hasn't yet received a parcel since lockdown began last week.

The Future Academy chain was set up by former Tory academies minister, and now peer, Baron John Nash.

He is on the chair of governors at Pimlico Academy, as is his wife Caroline.

A huge furore has erupted over the meals supplied during the lockdown after parents shared images of the parcels.

One mum was issued with part of a carrot and half of a red pepper and a tomato.

Others received polystyrene tubs full of dried pasta, six potatoes and four tins of beans for the week.

Now Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said school meal vouchers will return next week after Marcus Rashford – who has twice forced the Government into a u-turn on feeding kids when schools are shut – held a call with the PM over the "unacceptable" food parcels.

Parents will be able to use the Free Schools Meals voucher scheme again from Monday and shop for their kids' lunches themselves.

Mums and dads will be able to get £15-worth of vouchers to use at supermarkets or continue to use the food parcels system that the Prime Minister has vowed to improve.

Meanwhile, Chartwells – one of the companies responsible for packaging the delivering the lunches – has apologised.

And during Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Johnson said: "I don't think anybody is happy with the disgraceful images that we've seen the food parcels that have been offered. They are appalling and they are an insult to families.

"I'm grateful to Marcus Rashford, who has highlighted the issue and is doing quite an effective job by comparison with (Sir Keir Starmer) in holding the Government to account for these issues.

"The company in question has rightly apologised and agreed to reimburse."

The parcels for Pimlico Academy students are provided by Impact Food Group.

Bosses at Future Academy told The Sun its own voucher scheme will be in operation from January 18, and concerns have been raised with providers about the "quality and content" of parcels.

"We have asked our caterers to improve the quality of the parcels that that they are providing, so that they surpass the minimum standards whilst we replace with a voucher scheme," a spokesperson said.

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