A CHEF from Southend has slammed "offensively meagre scraps" being given to parents by the government for free school meals.

Jack Monroe has claimed those suffering financially are continuing to be demonised after photos were shared on Twitter of the packages of food some parents had received from the government.

Many parents have claimed the parcels to be inadequate, with one unamed mother, going by the name of "Roadside Mum", saying she was sent just a few pounds worth of food to last ten days.


Families eligible for free school meals have the option of food parcels or vouchers while schools are shut due to a third national lockdown in England.

But Jack Monroe said they have been sent numerous images of similar sized parcels and said people deserve better.


They said: "I’ve been sent LOTS of photos of the food parcels that have replaced the £30 vouchers and asked what I would do with them.

“I’m replying with advice privately because to do so publicly would look like justifying these ill thought through, offensively meagre scraps.

“There seems to be a prevalent train of thought that if you’re in poverty you should be ‘grateful’ for anything you get.

“I have spent the last seven years giving talks to various organisations and conferences and political parties urging them to put DIGNITY AND ACTIVE LISTENING at the core of all of their work. Nothing about us without us.

“Ask people what their needs are, respond accordingly. Don’t be a Marie Antoinette or worse, a sneering Scrooge. People in difficult situations are PEOPLE, no less ‘deserving’ of a good meal than anyone else."

The chef, who has written several cook books about preparing meals on a budget, continued that the vouchers were "a good idea" but the food boxes bring about more risks with transport, access, shielding, virus transmission and unnecessary trips.

They added: "“People deserve BETTER than constantly shouldering the financial mismanagement of this frickin Government; and its always the people who can afford the least that are asked to bear the biggest burden.”

Campaigner and footballer Marcus Rashford has also responded to some of the images, calling it "unacceptable" and that children "deserved better".

The Department for Education have been contacted for comment.