Those who fought against the campaign for free school meals should be shamed by families’ miserly food parcels
For this week’s Observer Food Monthly, I’ve written about Marcus Rashford’s inspiring campaign. The story went to press just before the revelations about the latest failures of school meal provision, but looking at those shameful pictures of sorry spuds and solitary tins of beans, one thing struck me.
It was a reminder that the political voices that have been raised against Rashford – suggesting that the solutions to food poverty were “more complicated” than he made out – were also invariably those that cheered the recent reduction of Britain’s foreign aid. That cut rested on two well-worn arguments: that Britain must “look after our own children” before honouring commitments overseas; and that money sent to feed hungry kids abroad ended up instead in the bulging pockets of cronies of corrupt politicians. As details have emerged of school-meal contracts given to Tory donors, alongside scandalous evidence of the resultant food parcels, it’s noticeable that those same voices have remarkably little to say about where taxpayers’ money goes.