A photograph of a free school meals replacement hamper has gone viral on Twitter after a mother showed followers the food they had been given in place of vouchers.

People were shocked after seeing how much food families have been given for ten days, with many stating that it is “not good enough.”

Footballer Marcus Rashford responded to the photo, writing: “Then imagine we expect the children to engage in learning from home. Not to mention the parents who, at times, have to teach them who probably haven’t eaten at all so their children can…”

Who owns Chartwells?

Charlie Brown is the managing director of Compass Group, the food service giant Chartwells belongs to.

According to The Compass Group website Charlie Brown lives in Buckinghamshire with his partner and two children.

His biography states:

“He is passionate about working in the service industry and loves helping to make people’s day better by providing our great food and services. He also enjoys the variety of his job and says that no two days are ever the same.”

What is Chartwells?

Chartwells is a catering company that was privately contracted by the Department of Education to provide lunch replacement hampers. However, they are among a range of different companies enlisted to provide schools with food.

Its sister company, Chartwells Independent, provides food for private schools, which many people online have pointed out is starkly different from the hampers.

Chartwells under fire for Free School Meals picture

On January 11th, a mother (@roadsidemum) posted a photograph on Twitter of the hamper they had received from Chartwells. 

The hampers are provided as a replacement for free school meals and were given instead of £30 worth of vouchers.

The hamper included: a loaf of bread, a bag of pasta, one can of baked beans, cheese slices, three apples, two carrots, one tomato, two baked potatoes, two bananas, two malt loaf snacks and three Frubes.

In the original tweet, she stated that the food was meant to last them ten days.

Chartwells respond to the photograph

In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“We take our responsibility to provide children with access to nutritious food very seriously. We have worked hard to produce food hampers at incredibly short notice during these challenging times. Our hampers follow the DofE specifications and contain a variety of ingredients to support families in providing meals throughout the week. In the majority of instances, we have received positive feedback. “

“In this instance, the image on Twitter falls short of our hamper specification and we are keen to investigate with the relevant school so we can address any operational issues that may have arisen.”

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