Mum praises food parcels from Sunderland school as staff 'top up' supplies

A mum has praised a Sunderland school for going ‘above and beyond’ to make sure children are well fed during the third national lockdown.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 3:18 pm
Updated Friday, 15th January 2021, 11:50 am

Stacey Ewart was delighted at the amount of food Hill View Infant Academy had provided for her six-year-old daughter after collecting her first weekly free school meal parcel.

The national Free School Meals allocation to schools is £11.50 per pupil per week, but the Government says schools can claim for additional funding of £3.50 per week for each eligible pupil receiving lunch parcel provision at home.

Stacey, 34, said that the school on Helvellyn Road had given her plenty of food to cover a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches for her daughter.

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The food parcel provided by Hill View Infant Academy.

The parcel contained fruit and vegetables, along with bagels, porridge, bread, crisps, butter and cheese.

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But Stacey said it was thanks to the efforts of school staff who, she said, went to ASDA to add more items to the parcels.

She said: “There are loads for a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches.

"I saw what other people were putting [on social media] of their food parcels and just expected the same, so it is nice that the school has gone above and beyond by topping it up.

“I just want to give recognition to the school, it is brilliant.”

No one was available to comment at Hill View Infant Academy.

However other parents across Wearside say they haven’t been so lucky, and have shared with the Echo photos of food parcels that appear to show a small amount of food and questioned where the allocated funds have been spent.

Across the country parents have also shared similar photos of food parcels that appeared to fall short of Government standards.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he was “absolutely disgusted” after seeing pictures of food parcels delivered to families by food service provider Chartwells.

Mr Williamson said it had been made clear to Chartwells as well as the entire sector that such behaviour “will not be tolerated” and that action would be taken against companies that did not maintain the proper standards.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the contents of the food parcels highlighted were “unacceptable” and said the Government was taking immediate steps to address issues around food parcels.

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