BRIGHTON and Hove MPs have shared their outrage at an image alleged to show a food parcel which was supposed to provide the equivalent of a week of school meals.

Families who qualify for the Free School Meals scheme are being sent the food parcels rather than the weekly £30 voucher, but Twitter user "Roadside Mum" claimed the items she had been sent were worth just £5.22.

The parcel included bread, beans, carrots, apples, potatoes, a tomato, cheese slices, Frubes, pasta, Soreen and bananas.

In a post which has now been retweeted more than 30,000 times, Roadside Mum said: "(This was) issued instead of £30 vouchers. I could do more with £30 to be honest."

Brighton and Hove MPs are among those to share the post with Green MP Caroline Lucas, and Labour politicians Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Peter Kyle, sharing their anger at the lack of provisions.

Ms  Lucas said: "When I remember the struggling small businesses who offered nutritious free meals to children last October and then see what corporations contracted by the government are delivering, it makes my blood boil."

Mr Lloyd-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown, said: "This food box is appalling and daylight robbery. 

"Parents are meant to be given £30 of food but this must be worth £5. 

"The reason food handouts rarely work is that people can usually buy better, (buy) more and (buy) food they like when they are empowered with the vouchers and money."

Hove and Portslade MP Peter Kyle said: "I feel such shame - and anger - reading this thread. 

"It's this kind of thing that our generation will be judged on by those to follow."

And Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also condemned the paltry parcel.

He 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."

Roadside Mum claimed that Chartwells, a company providing school meals during the pandemic, wanted "to find a solution to feed as many children as possible".

The company has responded to the claims on Twitter, saying: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention, this does not reflect the specification of one of our hampers. 

"Please can you DM us the details of the school that your child attends and we will investigate immediately."

With the original post now spread widely across social media, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Simon Clarke said people should wait before "seeking to whip a storm up on Twitter".

He also said that the Department for Education (DfE) was investigating the image.

He Tweeted: "There are a lot of people seeking to whip a storm up on Twitter tonight. 

"Too much to hope in an age of instant outrage to wait for the facts before jumping in. DfE are likewise investigating."

A DfE spokesman said: "We are looking into this.

"We have clear guidelines and standards for food parcels, which we expect to be followed. Parcels should be nutritious and contain a varied range of food."