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Marcus Rashford slams free school meal food parcels as ‘not good enough’

‘Just not good enough’



RoadsideMum / Twitter

A mum has shared the contents of the Free School Meal bag she was provided on Twitter, leaving many people shocked, including Labour MPs and Marcus Rashford. 

The unnamed mum who uses the Twitter account ‘RoadsideMum’ shared a photo of the food parcel she received, estimating the total cost to be just £5.22 instead of the £30 voucher she is entitled to.

The furious mum added a picture of the food, that is meant to feed her children for 10 days. It included a loaf of bread, pack of pre-sliced cheese, two bananas, three apples, two carrots, one tomato, two small portions of Soreen, a pack of pasta, two potatoes, three Frubes and one tin of Heinz No Added Sugar Beans. 

The food parcel was issued instead of a £30 voucher.  The mum wrote: “I could do more with £30 to be honest.”

One mum, Jack Monroe, who is also an author, TV presenter and activist, has taken to Twitter to share varying food shops of a £20 value at different supermarkets. 

She added a picture of a massive food shop for £20 without using bulk discount and the differences are astonishing. 

Chartwells UK responded to RoadsideMum on Twitter, writing: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention, this does not reflect the specification of one of our hampers. Please can you DM us the details of the school that your child attends and we will investigate immediately.”

One Twitter user replied to the thread saying: “Hampers! That is a pitiful amount of rubbish. Why this has to be put into the hands of a profiteering, private company is beyond me.

“This lady and the many others know how to feed their children decent food. Yet they are not trusted with a voucher to shop for food. Scandalous!”

Many people are calling for Chartwells to release specifications and/or images of what their ‘food hampers’ should look like. Others are calling for them to release the documents that indicate what was agreed with the government to supply each child. 

Many others are sharing their shopping lists that either equal £30 or are less, and they are considerably larger than this attempt. 

Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has weighed in on the situation, writing: “A 50 grand bonus for Dominic Cummings. £22bn wasted on failed test and trace. £1bn in contracts dished out to their donors and cronies.

“Yet this is what the Tories decide to give our hungry children to feed them for 10 days.  Disgusting, disgraceful and we will not accept this.”

Marcus Rashford has now also criticised the free school meal packages, writing: “3 days of food for 1 family … Just not good enough”.

He later added: “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 … We MUST do better. This is 2021.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer has also called out the parcels, describing the situation as ‘a disgrace’. He tweeted: “The images appearing online of woefully inadequate free school meal parcels are a disgrace. Where is the money going?”

He added: “This needs sorting immediately so families don’t go hungry through lockdown.”

The Department for Education has replied also, tweeting: “We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed.”

However, MP Simon Clarke – who voted against giving vouchers to children in school holidays – accused people of whipping ‘a storm up on Twitter’.

He wrote: “There are a lot of people seeking to whip a storm up on Twitter tonight. Too much to hope in age of instant outrage to wait for the facts before jumping in. DfE are likewise investigating.”

Government guidelines state that packages should contain food items instead of prepared meals so parents can make healthy lunches. Plus it adds that parcels should not rely on parents having additional ingredients at home. The hampers should also cater for pupils of all diets. 


Student suffers severe heart failure after drinking four cans of energy drink a day

‘I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children’



AlienFood/Wikimedia & Austin Kirk/Flickr

A young man who consumed two litres of energy drink a day was admitted to intensive care with severe heart failure.

According to a leading medical journal, the university student landed himself in hospital after drinking four cans of energy drink per day.

The 21-year-old spent nearly two months in intensive care due to heart failure, with the British Medical Journal stating this was ‘potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption’ in a report.

According to the report, the man drank four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years, becoming so ill that medics thought he might require an organ transplant.

The patient went on to describe his medical episode as ‘traumatising’, eventually seeking medical help after he suffered from weight loss and shortness of breath for roughly four months.

Daniel Juřena / Flickr

Doctors performed blood tests, scans, and ECG readings, and found that he had both kidney and heart failure – however, the kidney failure was discovered to be linked to a previously undiagnosed condition.

Each energy drink the man was consuming contained around 160mg of caffeine, and medics said that ‘energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity’ was the most likely cause of the severe heart failure.

In the report, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust wrote: “We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.”

They said the conclusion to their report ‘adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks’, adding that the man’s heart function seems to have returned to normal nine months later but with ‘mildly impaired function’.

AlienFood / Wikimedia

The recovered patient added his own thoughts to the article, saying: “When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.

“I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.”

He added: “I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.

“I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink.”

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Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules

Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes



Jaggery / Geograph

A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.

Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.

According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.

The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.

They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.

The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.

A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.

The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.

Jaggery / Geograph

However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.

The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.

Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.

“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.

“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”

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Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death

Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today



Michael Garnett / Flickr

Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.

The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.

Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.

According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.

Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.

Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.

Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.

According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.

Jamie McCaffrey / Flickr

Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.

The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.

The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.

As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.

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