A Marlborough catering firm has responded to claims that vulnerable families have been supplied inadequate free school meals packages.

Sue Brady, from Sue Brady Catering, a family run business in Marlborough who provide school meals said:

“I can’t believe this company are doing this. It is not fair that they are cashing in. We are a family run business but at the end of the day the most important thing is that the families are getting the right amount of food.

“Our passion is for the children and we have been providing school meals for years now.”

Sue Brady has been making school meals for 20 years, and says she is appalled at some of the food parcels being described.

"I really find this upsetting," she said. "We got sent a link from one of the schools we provide meals for, and it is clear what the government is asking for.

"We spend £11 for each child's food parcel a week, and charge £13, so we are not making money out of this really, as that pays for the staff."

She has kitchens in Devizes and Marlborough, and has just produced 159 food parcels, delivered to 17 schools and two nurseries yesterday (Monday).

A mother operating under the Twitter account 'Roadside Mum' tweeted a picture of the food package provided for her during the lockdown and a breakdown of the prices. Priced via Asda, the cost of the package equalled £5.22 whilst public funds were charged £30.

Chartwells, a private company contracted by the Department for Education, provided the food package and has responded confirming that it is investigating the matter.

Marcus Rashford, also tweeted in dismay, after his campaign before Christmas saw the Government U-turn on its decision not to provide free school meals during the holidays.

Cllr Ian Thorn, leader of the Lib Dem Group on Wiltshire Council, reacted angrily.

“The school meals debacle continues. It is a disgrace to provide such meagre portions, after a long battle to secure free meals for those in desperate need. The government has allowed private companies to make money by undercutting meals for hungry children.

“Yet again the Government’s priorities remain clear and a complete absence of compassion is obvious.

“This contrasts to local companies here in Wiltshire who stepped up to provide meals to those most in need in the absence of the Government.

“How can you expect a family to last on these portions for 10 days?”