A mother was left furious when she learned what her son had been served by school caterers after paying for his lunch.
Jackie Fothergill had sent her son Rowan Parkin to school with enough money to buy his canteen lunch, but Rowan, 13, was disappointed when presented with a ‘pathetic looking’ panini.
Rowan paid £1.80 for a chicken and cheese panini during his lunch break and was greeted with a seemingly untoasted sandwich with a few shreds of chicken and a small amount of cheese.
Outraged at what her son had been served, Jackie Forthergill, 34, said: “It’s just unacceptable for our children to eat this kind of food. The portion is absolutely ridiculous and costs £1.80.
“With the cost and everything going up, it’s not enough at all.”
Jackie explained that this was not the first time she had raised concerns about the school’s caterer.
After her complaint became public, Hinde House Secondary School in Sheffield contacted her caterer, Mellors, who issued an apology and offered a refund.
However, Jackie is adamant that there is still a lot to do.
“The supplier said they would refund the parents, but I don’t want a refund. I want this sorted out because it’s not the first time this has happened.
“We complained for a long time at school but nothing was done.”
Jackie said the school had also offered her and other parents a “secret shopping experience” to experience catering for themselves, but she was adamant it wouldn’t solve anything.
She said: “I just feel like since they know I’m coming, they’re going to do their best. I mean, it’s not the first time…the kids have had enough.
“What they need to do now is increase the portion size to match the price of food or lower the price of food to match portion control.”
A spokesperson for Hinde House Secondary School has since issued a statement saying: “We have been informed that many concerns have been circulating regarding the catering to the school provided by Mellors.
“Rest assured that we will respond urgently to any contractor concerns and keep you updated.”
Director of operations for Mellors, Anne Kavanagh also sent a letter of apology to the secondary school, which insisted that “the standard of quality represented by the photograph taken does not reflect the standards with which [they] operate” and that an “internal investigation” is underway.