Bridgend residents reassured on local food parcel scheme for children after English scheme receives widespread criticism for poor value

Following recent media coverage of food parcel schemes in England, Bridgend County Borough Council is reassuring residents on how the authority is making sure that children who are eligible for free school meals do not go hungry.

Every week, the council provides thousands of children with a food parcel featuring enough nutritious breakfast and lunch items to cover five days.

The food parcels take specific dietary requirements into account, and use Welsh suppliers wherever possible. Each parcel features items such as jacket potatoes, peppers, apples, oranges, penne and macaroni pasta, pasta sauce, couscous, tomato and sweet chilli sauces, ravioli, baked beans, soup, milk, jam, porridge, orange juice and desserts such as rice pudding, jelly or custard.

The parcels also feature ‘life-skill’ recipe cards to encourage children and adults to prepare meals together, learn about nutrition and more.

Councillor Dr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “Having evaluated a range of options, we continue to believe that the direct delivery of food parcels containing nutritious breakfast and lunch items has been more effective and ultimately better for the children concerned.

“It has prevented families from making unnecessary journeys during the pandemic, and has avoided potential problems such as food vouchers being refused at stores.

“As well as providing an extra level of reassurance that children have been receiving the food, the doorstop deliveries are supporting safeguarding arrangements by enabling additional contact from school staff and our Vulnerable Groups team.”