The packs have been branded ‘woefully inadequate’ (Image: xxxxxxxx/Twitter)

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Images of meagre food parcels handed to families who qualify for free school meals are "completely unacceptable", Number 10 has said.

Boris Johnson's official spokesman said the Department for Education was "urgently" looking into the images.

And he said Minister for Children Vicky Ford is speaking to the company responsible for the parcels.

The spokesman said: "It's clear that the images are completely unacceptable."

He added that food parcels should allow parents to provide children with healthy meals.

Ministers have been plunged into yet another row over free school meals after the shocking images were shared on Twitter.

One mother shared an image of a £30 parcel meant to last for 10 days, which she said contained just over £5 worth of food.

Footballer Marcus Rashford, who has repeatedly shamed Tory ministers over free school meals, said parcels were "just not good enough".

The Department for Education has launched a probe
(Image: PA)

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Labour leader Keir Starmer said: "The images appearing online of woefully inadequate free school meal parcels are a disgrace.

"Where is the money going? This needs sorting immediately so families don’t go hungry through lockdown."

It is thought private firm Chartwells provided a package highlighted by Twitter user @Roadsidemum.

The firm, part of the food service giant Compass Group, said it would "investigate immediately". The firm added: "This does not reflect the specification of one of our hampers."

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Chartwells supplies food to more than 3,000 "educational establishments" and joined Rashford's Child Food Poverty taskforce last year.

Children's Minister Vicky Ford tweeted: "I will be looking into this urgently – food parcels should cover all lunchtime meals & be nutritious.

"We’ve increased funding for parcels & will support local vouchers – national voucher also rolling out ASAP, working night & day on this. Hope your kids are ok."