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Chartwells: Free School Meal Food Parcel Information

January 2021 - During lockdown Chartwells provided free school meal lunch parcels to those children eligible for free school meals at the schools in which we work (unless the school or parent opted for vouchers).


We recognise that these food parcels were essential to many families and committed to making no profit on any of our food parcels. If you receive food parcels and are unsure who your school meal provider is, please ask your school.


We also introduced breakfast, at no extra cost, for those children who received food parcels at a school where we operate.

What’s in a free school meal food parcel?

The parcels included fresh produce and ingredients to make nutritious, filling meals.


Our nutritionists included recipe cards with fun foodie facts and allergen information to support parents and encourage children to get involved in the kitchen each week.


Our free school meal lunch parcels were aligned to the DFE and LACA guidelines. Our breakfast parcels were nutritionally balanced and remained compliant to school food regulations.

What’s inside our food parcels?

Each parcel contained food for five breakfasts and lunches for one child.


Our breakfast parcel contained items such as milk, cereal, bread, bagel, yoghurts, eggs and oats.


Our lunch parcel contained items such as cheese, red apples, oranges, bananas and pasta. 


We kept all our food parcels under continual review, with variations to ingredients.

Steps we took to ensure each food parcel met our specifications

  • Created a supply chain specifically to serve children with these parcels

  • Moved to one-week parcels to include more fresh produce*

  • Introduced improved quality assurance processes

  • Increased the quantity and variety of products

  • Provided a detailed recipe guide to help families prepare nutritious lunches


*some schools opted to continue a 10 day option

Our commitments

  • Committed that we make no profit on the provision of food parcels

  • If there were any issues with the quality of a food parcel, parents could contact our helpline and be issued with a replacement within 24 hours, to ensure no child goes without

  • We provided free breakfasts to all children who received a Chartwells lunch parcel from 25 January 2021 for the duration of school closures

  • In addition, for those same children, we offered schools the option of food parcels through the February half term at no cost

Chartwells’ involvement in the Child Food Poverty Taskforce

Chartwells works with over 2,000 education establishments, including thousands of schools across the UK, to help students build strong bodies, sharp minds and lead long, healthy lives. Chartwells provides nourishing and great tasting meals created by its team of nutritionists and chefs, and food ambassadors delivering food education in the classroom.


· In 2018, Chartwells launched a dedicated health and wellbeing programme, Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen. As part of this there was a focus on holiday provision and since then Chartwells has provided many children across the UK, including 13,000 in Lewisham alone, with meals during holidays; partnered with more than 30 charities to help support vulnerable children; reached 4,000 young people in school breaks with education and information; and trained around 70 holiday lunch club volunteers to help families in need.


· The programme now has a suite of virtual resources, which take into account current restrictions offering practical learning via The Super Yummy Kitchen YouTube channel, which was created during the nationwide Covid lockdown earlier in 2020, to help children and families utilise the cook along videos with entertaining and educational content. Plus, it has introduced interactive sessions with nutritionists and chefs, webinars, as well as access to printable and online materials.

"Our updated food hampers now include a breakfast parcel as well as recipe ideas. Thank you to Chartwells and our staff who have been delivering them to families unable to collect."

-Welling School

"Another amazing food parcel by Linda from Chartwells . Now including a brilliant breakfast bag." 

- Alban Wood Primary School and Nursery

"Food hampers went out to families today - lots of provision for our children in these. The food voucher system is now up and running for all of our children eligible for free school meals too." - Hanburys Farm Primary School Federation

Chartwells Fact Box


During lockdown in early 2021, we provided over 60,000 parcels to children receiving free school meals.




Chartwells Fact Box


We cater at over 2,000 of UK’s 26,000 schools





Chartwells Fact Box

Learn more

If you want to learn more about the free school meals system follow the link below.



Media Statements

Robin Mills, Compass Group UK & Ireland, MD - Chartwells Food Parcel Commitment - 14th January 2021

Chartwells Free Breakfast Statement - 13th January 2021

Chartwells Free School Meal Food Parcel Statement - 12th January 2021