Pressure grows on government’s handling of food insecurity
A growing number of families are reporting problems with supermarket vouchers designed to replace free school meals while schools are closed. Parents have told the BBC of the “humiliation” of having to walk away from tills without food, left to wait at least a week for replacement vouchers from the local school running the programme.
The replacement programme has already come in for criticism over its limitations on supermarkets included. Private contractor Edenred’s scheme entitles each child to £15 in vouchers per week, but their parents must choose from Aldi, McColl’s, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose, and M&S when redeeming them, and sometimes it’s the schools, not the parents making the decision. This can artificially create, or broaden food deserts, by limiting the availability of food.
Multiple schools across the country in London, Bolton, Cornwall, the West Midlands have confirmed the problems, which are magnified by coronavirus’ exacerbation of food insecurity. Food banks are experiencing sustained, cataclysmic waves of demand: the Trussell Trust provided 81 percent more emergency food parcels in the last two weeks of March than in the equivalent period of 2019 and describing the situation as a “tidal wave.” [BBC]
And in other news...
- Meet the London chefs finding routine in cooking meals for the NHS.
- A group of high-profile industry figures have lobbied the government to include tronc, a system for distributing tips and service charges between restaurant workers, in its coronavirus job retention payment calculations.
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested that restaurants, cafes, and pubs with outdoor space will be able to reopen sooner than those without. [Sky News]
- Good tweet:
Celeb Annoyed By Free Recipe Format Tweets Thinly Veiled Plea for Free Cookware— Hillary Dixler Canavan (@hillarydixler) May 6, 2020