Prime Minister Boris Johnson on December 21, 2020 in London.
Tolga Akmen / AP / SIPA
The UK government has been the target of criticism for days after very meager food parcels were distributed to families during lockdown, which sparked outrage in the UK.
A mother posted a photograph of the food package provided by the government for 10 meals on social media.
But its contents sparked indignation: three apples, two bananas, two carrots, two potatoes, a can of beans, a sandwich bread with slices of cheese, some pasta and five sweet bars.
A deadline too short according to the government
The disabled woman, who receives free meals for her children, told the BBC that she felt "very sad and depressed" when she opened the package.
After the release of the photo that went viral, Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, champion of the cause of child poverty, said he had received assurances from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he planned to intervene after the broadcast by a mother of two children of a photo that went viral.
For his part, the Minister of Education, Gavin Williamson, said he was “absolutely disgusted” by this image.
“As a father, I thought to myself, 'How is a recipient family supposed to provide five nutritious meals?'
It is simply not acceptable, ”he told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.
The minister added that the company that provided the package, Chartwells, had been called to order.
A spokesperson for Chartwells apologized for the "insufficient quantity" of the package, explaining that it delivered "thousands of food packages per week in an extremely short time".
No free meals for underprivileged children during the holidays
The government had already faced a flurry of criticism for refusing to provide free meals to the poorest children during school holidays in the midst of a pandemic, before bowing under the pressure of a campaign led by Marcus Rashford.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to the footballer on Wednesday.
“He assured me that he was committed to correcting the food package issue and that a full supply chain review was underway.
He agrees that the parcel images shared on Twitter are unacceptable, ”Marcus Rashford said on Twitter.
The United Kingdom is the European country most bereaved by the new coronavirus pandemic (more than 83,000 dead), and one of those where the economic contraction caused has been the most brutal.
During the Christmas holidays, Unicef helped feed children in the United Kingdom, a first in the history of the UN agency.
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