Food hampers for children on free school meals have come under fire this week after parents received parcels meant to cover £30 of food shopping, only to find it barely worth £5.
But Kylie Butcher from Landport says Arundel Court Primary School has gone ‘above and beyond' to provide for youngsters learning remotely.
On Friday, she received a hamper worth £30 for two of her three children, Kayla and Lexi.
The 32-year-old said: ‘During the first lockdown I didn't ask for a food hamper, but things have been tough recently.
‘I went to the school to collect it and was amazed to see four bags of food, and nutritious food at that.
‘I could barely believe how much there was – it’s really going to make a huge difference.’
Kylie and the family were given 180g pasta, four loaves of bread, four tins of baked beans, six yoghurts, plus fruit, vegetables, eggs and more.
In the February half-term break, Portsmouth City Council will be providing vouchers in lieu of the free school meals.
‘I thought it was brilliant,' she said.
‘People are having problems with free school meals up and down the country, so I was really grateful to Arundel Court for going above and beyond for our family.
‘We can’t thank them enough, there’s food that can go in the freezer and the rest has a really long shelf-life, so it’s quality food that's going to last.
‘I’m honestly overwhelmed, and after all the negativity that has been around the school meals this week, this has made our family very grateful indeed. For me, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders.’
Kylie added that it was nice to have something positive during the struggles of a third national lockdown.
The food hamper, which is intended to provide 10 lunches, will go much further than that, she said.
As of next week, schools will be able to hand out vouchers instead of food, depending on what they deem appropriate.
To apply for free school meals, go to gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals.