Families receiving ‘degrading’ food parcels treated ‘like dirt’, says mother

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Families given “degrading” food parcels as part of the government’s free school meals programme are being treated “like dirt”, according to one mother.


Kerry Wilks, from Redcar in north-east England, received a package at her youngest child’s school containing a loaf of bread, three yoghurts, a tin of beans, tuna, two potatoes, four pieces of fruit, and two slices of cheese.

“Even the teaching staff were quite embarrassed by giving them out,” Wilks told the PA news agency.

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She added:

I think what’s really bugged me about it is the fact that there’s two pieces of square cheese wrapped in cling film – I just find it so degrading.

Wilks is a widow and acts as a carer for one of her three children, who has autism, so has no income aside from Universal Credit. She received vouchers last summer – which she said she also found “degrading” because of the attitudes of some people online and in shops, but preferred that to the packages.

She said:

Going into the school and receiving that – ‘oh, your food hamper’s here’ – well the perception of a hamper that I’ve got is not what I’ve received.

She added that she would not be collecting the packages for her two older children, who attend a different school, saying:

It’ll cost me more in bus fares to get it than what the food’s worth.


Wilks was one of a number of parents posting images of food packages they had received over the last two days, which were later described by a spokesperson for the prime minister as “completely unacceptable”.

One such image, which showed a £30 package and was supplied by a different company, was estimated to contain just more than £5 worth of food.

The PM’s spokesperson added:

The Department for Education is looking into this urgently and the minister for children, Vicky Ford, is speaking to the company responsible and they will be making it clear that boxes like this should not be given to families.

Caterlink managing director Neil Fuller said:

All children require nutritious food to support their learning, whilst at school, or at home. We have listened to feedback from parents and pupils, and in some cases it is clear our parcels have fallen short.

We have immediately reviewed our current food parcels, enhancing the contents. These enhancements have been funded by our organisation’s charitable foundation, WSH Foundation. The enhanced parcels will be prepared by a site-based catering team and will be available for distribution in the coming days.

“I could do more with £30 to be honest”

According to her local MP, Conservative Jacob Young, catering companies had been provided with £11.50 per student to produce the packages.

Wilks, who said her package had come from Caterlink, added:

If that’s £11.50 worth of food, wow.

Asked how she felt the government was treating people who receive the parcels, she said:

It’s like they’ve scraped them off their shoe. They’re treating them like dirt. [It’s] absolutely horrific.

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  • Show Comments
    1. The bastards are even skimming off the food banks!! The majority of the food banks , I would have thought came from the cummunity. Am I naive in this?
      Kraft cheese slices….., come on, you are having a laugh!!

    2. I am a single pensioner, and £30 feeds me very well for a week., and if it came to it, I could live on less.
      but , that is me as a old gobshite. how the fuck can anyone, including me, live on a couple of spuds,two slices of crap cheese, a few bits and bobs……, for fucks sake, even Fagan couldn’t get away with it..

    3. Not the be all and end all of my disgust, but Britain has a “Cheese Mountain” to give these children 2 slices means instead of using the Cheese Mountain they paid some crony Maximum for the Minimum! WHY!?
      We need a Democratic Socialist Party and Fcuking FAST! Four years is no time at all to create a Party, gain Trust, form Alliances with the Big Left Wing Unions, etc, etc, etc, we can’t rest on our laurels! People must not be stupid enough to believe The Blairite mantra “Any Labour Government is better than a Conservative Government” THIS Neolabour TORY Party are far more dangerous than EVEN Johnson/Cummings Conservative Party, based on Assange ALONE, AND their silence speaks volumes on all the current issues that affect THE PEOPLE, NOT THEIR HOITY TOITY ELITES!

    4. sign of the times

      I imagine that the company receiving that tax-payer money makes a profit from each £11-50. From what can be seen in the photo’s, the profit looks to be over 60% per parcel – that profit is probably augmented because ‘the staff’ actually making the said ‘parcels’ are dependant upon ‘tax-credits’ via the Universal Credit scam.
      What with the Starmfuhrer spending his time calming the horses of Torygraph readers and talking up the importance of family values and this example of paltry charity. Are we just extending the nineteenth century into the twenty-first?

    5. I’ve commented on the profiteering and exploitation of hungry children by private enterprise in another thread so won’t repeat it here.

      I agree entirely with “HateHate”, we need a democratic socialist party unhindered by the centrists who always do all they can to undermine socialist policies and agendas, not to mention socialist leaders. The crux, as pointed out, is to get the backing of some “Big Left Wing Unions”. Without funding a new party will go nowhere.

      And to “lanterndude”, I certainly shan’t be working for the Labour Party at forthcoming elections, let alone voting for the Starmfuhrer.

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