Sunderland Echo

‘WE’RE BEING TREATED LIKE SCUM’

- Ryan Smith Ryan.smith@jpimedia.co.uk @Ryansmithn­ews

A Sunderland mum has been left questionin­g the amount of money spent on a food parcel which is meant to cover free school meals.

The food parcel, which was collected from Hetton School on North Road, is to cover the free school meals that children would normally receive.

The mum, who doesn’t want to be named, said she she was angry over the contents of the food parcel after she travelled to collect it from her child’s school.

She said :“I had to use public transport to get to and from the school to collect the parcel, which is supposed to be a week’s worth of food.

"If we had the vouchers like last time, I could go out and have the choice to getting my children what they want to eat as when they are at school, they always go for hot meals rather than cold ones.

"I just feel like we are being treated like the scum of the Earth. Having the kids at home means that utility bills are already going up without me having to buy extra food on top of that because the free schools meals don’t cover what they should.”

The Government’s Free School Meals allocation to schools is £11.50 per pupil per week but schools can claim an extra £3.50 per week for each eligible pupil receiving lunch parcel provision at home – a total of £15 per child.

However, the mum was left questionin­g how much had been spent on the parcel that she received.

She added: “It is supposed to be £15 a week but what I received is definitely not £15 worth of food, I would dare say that it is less than £5.”

The Department of Education has moved to return to the voucher scheme after the backlash over theme al supply.

Gavin Williamson, Secretaryo­f State for Education said the national voucher scheme for free school meals will re launch next week, after education leaders, campaigner­s and MPs called on the Government to roll out the programme urgently.

CllrLoui se Farthing, Sunderland City Council’ s cabinet member for children, learning and skills, said: “Schools that receive the city council’ s meals service, including free meals, are distributi­ng food parcels inline with Government guidance.

“Parcels are produced on site and distribute­d by the school or collected by parents.”

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 ??  ?? This was the food parcel that the mum received from Hetton School.
This was the food parcel that the mum received from Hetton School.

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