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To not understand how it's cheaper to send dc to school with a cold happy meal than a packed lunch?

(517 Posts)
bobstersmum Sat 16-Nov-19 17:31:00

In the news this week, an article about children in deprived areas being sent to school with a cold happy meal. Then parents in another article defending the reasons for it, saying that sometimes it's all they can afford. I just can't understand it? A happy meal is 2.99 I think? But a cheap loaf of bread is 50p, a cheap pack of sandwich meat or cheese is less than a pound, bag of bananas a pound multipack of crisps a pound, that's lunches for the week for around the same cost?

bobstersmum Sat 16-Nov-19 17:38:15

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/teacher-reveals-tragic-packed-lunches-17252457

churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 17:39:09

Do you have a link?

churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 17:39:35

Cross post

RedSheep73 Sat 16-Nov-19 17:39:41

Cheaper in time and effort, rather than in cash maybe?

my2bundles Sat 16-Nov-19 17:40:33

I agree with you. It costs me approx £3 per week to pack up my 12 year old
No excuses really.

churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 17:40:54

Well, my reading of that is that some parents are sending in cold fast food and other parents are sending in half a sandwich and saying it is all they can afford. And that’s perfectly feasible.

churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 17:41:32

Do read the article before commenting, folks.

LittleMissNaice Sat 16-Nov-19 17:41:56

Oh the irony

MellowBird85 Sat 16-Nov-19 17:45:53

Lazy, selfish parenting.

Laterthanyouthink Sat 16-Nov-19 17:50:42

It is poverty, from the article:

"Equally you know the children who are starving because they are the first in the snack area eating the fruit and drinking the milk."

According to the Trussell Trust, 1.6million food bank parcels were given to people who couldn't afford to feed themselves in the UK in the year to March 2019.

churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 17:52:54

At least some of the time, people choosing to buy more expensive, crappier food do so because of broken appliances or crippling fuel bills. It’s cheaper to buy a Happy Meal than it is to buy a new cooker, or saucepans, or cutlery. Some people don’t have the money to cover the upfront costs of saving money in the longer term.

QuestionableMouse Sat 16-Nov-19 17:56:21

A happy meal is £2.69.

Bread in my local shop is £2 ish per loaf.
Cheese is £3 for a tiny block.
Ham is £2 for a small pack (4 slices)
Butter or spread is about £4 a pack

I can easily understand how some people find it hard to afford stuff for packed lunches. Not everyone has access to a supermarket.

churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 17:58:19

QuestionableMouse

That’s also true. Or a car. Or a lunch box.

WorraLiberty Sat 16-Nov-19 17:59:00

It’s cheaper to buy a Happy Meal than it is to buy a new cooker, or saucepans, or cutlery.

But not cheaper than buying a packed lunch confused

BarbaraofSeville Sat 16-Nov-19 17:59:00

You don't need cookers or saucepans to make a sandwich, and even if you have no cutlery you can manage without if needs be, or take some disposable stuff from the lunch aisle at the supermarket.

There's many reasons why people can't adequately feed their children, but lack of money is often not the main cause as demonstrated by the provision of relatively expensive fast food - yes McDonalds is fairly cheap, but it's still far more expensive than a home made sandwich, even if you have to buy your ingredients from a convenience store not a cheap supermarket.

WorraLiberty Sat 16-Nov-19 18:01:12

I can easily understand how some people find it hard to afford stuff for packed lunches. Not everyone has access to a supermarket.

If they have access to McDonald's, it's extremely unlikely the don't have access to a supermarket.

McDonald's tend not to open stores in quiet rural areas.

pickleface Sat 16-Nov-19 18:01:40

Even a tesco meal deal is £3. Far better for them than bloody McDonald's.

churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 18:02:58

You don't need cookers or saucepans to make a sandwich, and even if you have no cutlery you can manage without if needs be, or take some disposable stuff from the lunch aisle at the supermarket.

No, but you do to make dinner the night before. If you bought a Happy Meal because you didn’t have access to cooking facilities and it went uneaten (for whatever reason) then the following day you might - if you are so poor that you can’t afford a fiver of gas - think “waste not, want not”.

And no, in my local store, the ingredients for a sandwich would cost at least £4: £1.60ish for bread, £1 for cheap cheese, £1.50ish for spread.

ghostfromholidaypast Sat 16-Nov-19 18:03:32

Besides it being a bad thing to do, could you imagine cold Mccys, the chips are rank after 10 minutes.

pinkmagic1 Sat 16-Nov-19 18:03:47

Some may be genuine poverty but I would hazard a guess that the majority is due to dysfunctional parenting.

puds11 Sat 16-Nov-19 18:04:14

So at £2.69 a happy meal per day for 5 days would be £13.45. You can definitely get pack lunch for the week cheaper.

churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 18:04:21

If they have access to McDonald's, it's extremely unlikely the don't have access to a supermarket.

It’s not that unlikely. Lots of places have a little retail park with McDonald’s etc. but no supermarket without a long walk. And that’s not always feasible with children.

BarbaraofSeville Sat 16-Nov-19 18:04:27

^Bread in my local shop is £2 ish per loaf.
Cheese is £3 for a tiny block.
Ham is £2 for a small pack (4 slices)
Butter or spread is about £4 a pack^

Are there really people who only have access to either takeaways or shops that make Waitrose look cheap? No shops near school or work, or a bit further away?

Grasspigeons Sat 16-Nov-19 18:04:45

Their parents may work there. It might be leftovers not going to waste - i felt the article said 'items from a happy meal' so the kid ate the chips hot last night in their B&B they are housed in and is having the nuggets cold today. I think food is a big issue but the article focussing on cold mcdonalds is a bit inflammatory. Its easier to get worked up about that than focus on the child with half a sandwich, which is probably far more common and terribly sad.

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