Gransnet forums

Food

Chartwells and the £30 meal pack

(36 Posts)
GagaJo Wed 13-Jan-21 11:24:35

For home schooled free school meals recipients, the government has provided meal packs INSTEAD of giving parents food vouchers.

This is the content of a pack that costs the tax payer £30 and is supposed to last a child 10 days.

This company is LITERALLY taking food from the mouths of children.

MawBe Wed 13-Jan-21 11:28:27

Chill Gagajo
Yesterday’s news, it is being investigated and while appalling, is being addressed

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We’re aware of those images circulating on social media, and it is clear that the contents of those food parcels are completely unacceptable.

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.

Last night, doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) demanded a review of food packages delivered to pupils.

MawBe Wed 13-Jan-21 11:30:40

And while I agree still grossly inadequate the company has clarified that the package was for five days’ worth of lunches, equivalent to £15 of food vouchers rather than £30. It has apologised and Downing Street has ordered an investigation.

EllanVannin Wed 13-Jan-21 11:33:30

Someone's making a packet somewhere---as always happens !
I'm turned 80 but that pic. shown would do me two days grin

EllanVannin Wed 13-Jan-21 11:35:56

Where are the £millions that Sir Tom raised ? Will we ever see a breakdown £ for £ ? No bloody chance !!

EllanVannin Wed 13-Jan-21 11:36:46

The most greedy, grasping country I've ever known.

Nortsat Wed 13-Jan-21 11:42:31

I could weep.

So Vicky Ford, Minister for Children got straight on it yesterday... But she didn’t think to quality check the meals before now.

God forbid she actually spoke to a few parents and children, to ask about their experiences ... or a few school heads ... or some dinner ladies, to get an informed view.

I am so tired of watching disaster after disaster unfolding which has been created by the incompetent buffoons in this Government ...

GrannyGravy13 Wed 13-Jan-21 11:44:14

I have read that the Government is abandoning the lunch boxes and returning to the £30 a fortnight voucher scheme. (This is from Jack Monroe aka bootstrap cook )

GrannyGravy13 Wed 13-Jan-21 11:45:09

Chartwell who distributed the boxes is also a provider of school lunches in term time.

Nortsat Wed 13-Jan-21 11:45:21

Do you notice the rice and pasta in unmarked bags with no cooking instructions. Lots of pasta takes different amounts of time to cook ... clearly nobody bothered to think that through either.

GagaJo Wed 13-Jan-21 11:53:58

GrannyGravy13

Chartwell who distributed the boxes is also a provider of school lunches in term time.

Yes, I've been on the receiving end of them. Often not great (I'm being polite).

That still isn't £15 worth, although slightly less of a rip off than if it were £30 worth.

growstuff Wed 13-Jan-21 11:59:00

The DfE has issued new guidance today, so schools will be able to give vouchers which parents/guardians can spend them themselves.

MaizieD Wed 13-Jan-21 11:59:40

MawBe

And while I agree still grossly inadequate the company has clarified that the package was for five days’ worth of lunches, equivalent to £15 of food vouchers rather than £30. It has apologised and Downing Street has ordered an investigation.

The woman who posted the original photo said that it was given to her as being for two weeks (10 days) and has documentary evidence to prove it.

Our school took the catering back in house after a couple of years of Chartwells...

Ilovecheese Wed 13-Jan-21 12:00:48

There is no defence for this. It should have been looked at to make sure this company was doing a good job or just ripping off the taxpayer, long before it was revealed on social media. Does this Government never ensure that it is getting a good deal for the money it gives out.
The fact that it is being addressed now, it just not good enough.

kittylester Wed 13-Jan-21 12:05:16

Gavin has just announced that vouchers are to be reinstated from next week. He said he was disgusted at what was there!

growstuff Wed 13-Jan-21 12:10:36

It was Vicky Ford, the Children's Minister, who responded to the complaints. I hope she's promoted in the next cabinet reshuffle.

Mollygo Wed 13-Jan-21 12:14:00

It’s disgraceful that it has to be micromanaged like this.
Yes the Government should have checked it, but listening to complaints about Chartwells and their levels of provision, now would be a good time to collect evidence about ALL their school provisions. We don’t use them for in-school meals and parents can see what’s on our school menu and order from it, but it’s evident that a lot of places do.

growstuff Wed 13-Jan-21 12:14:39

MaizieD

MawBe

And while I agree still grossly inadequate the company has clarified that the package was for five days’ worth of lunches, equivalent to £15 of food vouchers rather than £30. It has apologised and Downing Street has ordered an investigation.

The woman who posted the original photo said that it was given to her as being for two weeks (10 days) and has documentary evidence to prove it.

Our school took the catering back in house after a couple of years of Chartwells...

It seems Chartwells delegated decisions about what went into the boxes to local staff. I guess they had different ideas about what should go in the boxes. The ones I think are particularly miserly (and potentially unsafe) are the ones where peppers and carrots have been cut and bags of rice and pasta have been split and bagged in portions.

Chardy Wed 13-Jan-21 12:22:21

It was for 10 days

EllanVannin Wed 13-Jan-21 12:28:28

Chartwells is a lot different in Texas ! It would be wouldn't it ?

Urmstongran Wed 13-Jan-21 12:29:34

EllanVannin

The most greedy, grasping country I've ever known.

No, come on EV - fair’s fair. It’s not long since you were praising the money being spent on your great granddaughter over the Pennines. Some good things are still being done with taxpayer’s money!
😊

Parsley3 Wed 13-Jan-21 12:29:55

I have just listened to the PM failing to answer a question on this topic from the Leader of the Opposition.

FarNorth Wed 13-Jan-21 12:37:31

I hope it doesn't take long to be "addressed".

In my area, parents get money into their bank accounts, for this.

Missfoodlove Wed 13-Jan-21 12:41:22

Sadly it was due to the voucher scheme being abused that resulted in companies like Compass/Chartwells getting the contract.
It would be better idea if local restaurants were to provide and distribute the food.

FarNorth Wed 13-Jan-21 12:41:30

"delegated decisions to local staff" - what does that mean?

Catering staff who have supplies for (seemingly useless) school meals, being expected to use those for 'lunch packs' instead?

That's what it looks like.