Free School Meals
Statement from Impact Food Group
We’re very sorry that some parents at the schools we supply have received sub-standard food parcels. We value our longstanding relationship with Future Academies and apologise unreservedly to them and the parents of their students for any distress this has caused.
School catering teams are not set up to provide food parcels – especially with little advance warning, as was the case following the last-minute announcement of school closures last week following previous assurances that they would remain open. Our kitchen staff have been trying to support their schools as best they can at short notice, as they have done throughout the pandemic. But clearly errors of judgement have been made along the way, for which we apologise unreservedly and thank Future Academies for bringing these issues to our attention at the beginning of this week.
More broadly: we strongly believe that parents should be given the flexibility and choice to provide the most suitable food for their child when out of school. This is simply not possible from a parcel scheme, which school caterers are not well-equipped to deliver. So we greatly welcome the return of the national voucher scheme, as we feel that it is the best way to support families through this crisis.
We are pleased that this change from the government has allowed schools to move to a voucher scheme as requested by Future Academies on the 7th January.
Statement from Future Academies
Future Academies is committed to providing a healthy balanced diet for our students. This offer includes free breakfast clubs and fruit for students.
We have put in place our own voucher scheme for our families from the 18th of January 2021.
Following the Prime Minister’s statement on the 4th January, we have been in ongoing dialogue with Impact Food Group, who provide the food contract to our Pimlico schools, to raise our concerns about both the quality and content of the food parcels.
Catering in our academies is provided by external companies, our caterers are providing food parcels that meet the DFE guidelines and school food standards. However, following feedback this week, we have asked our caterers to improve the quality of the parcels that that they are providing, so that they surpass the minimum standards whilst we replace with a voucher scheme.
We stand together with our parents and families in demanding better for our most vulnerable children who are self-isolating at home in this challenging time.