Images showing government food packages for children from low-income families during coronavirus shutdowns sparked outrage and forced a U-turn in government policy.
Mizz, a single mother from Stoke-on-Trent, said her heart sank when she opened the food package from the British government.
“We were gobsmacked,” Mizz, who didn’t want to give her full name, told DW. “I grew up poor, and I know poor. I can make a meal out of thin air — but not with this,” the 41-year-old said. Mizz said her parcel was meant to provide lunch for her 12-year-old for 10 days: one loaf of bread, half a cucumber, one pepper, a few potatoes, a block of cheese, a pack of butter, four pieces of fruit, a chocolate bar and some salty snacks.
This parcel was meant to be a week’s supply of food.
Mizz has no broadband, no computer and no smartphone, so homeschooling her son during the UK’’s national lockdown is already tough. But without a nutritious meal, Mizz said, her child is struggling to concentrate or learn at all at secondary school.
“I’m not ungrateful… but this makes you feel like less than nothing,” she said.
This image posted by a mother on Twitter sparked outrage in the UK
Food parcels to keep kids from going hungry during lockdown
Mizz took to Twitter to join other parents posting photographs of the packages they’’d received. The images sparked widespread outrage in Britain, one of the world’s richest countries, and prompted the government to reverse course Wednesday.
The food parcels, destined for children eligible for free school meals in the UK, replaced food vouchers of £15 (€16.80/$20.50) per week per child offered to parents while schools remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Labour parliamentarian David Lammy compared one package photographed by Twitter user @roadsidemum with a meal bag in Finland.