Recent controversy over Government contracted food boxes shows poor nutritional value at exorbitant prices, in another directly awarded government contract.

Controversial Food Box Contractors Face Scrutiny

January 12, 2021
Procurement

There is increased scrutiny for the suppliers of food boxes provided to the chronically ill and those asked to shelter through the Covid pandemic, and a number of high profile individuals have started to question the lack of quantity of goods and nutritional value within the 4,724,611 boxes that have been delivered through the food box scheme.

Today we’re publishing details of each contract that has been published in the scheme to help increase transparency around these contracts and who they were awarded to.

Activist, cook and author Jack Monroe has taken to Twitter to highlight the issue, showing a range of food box photos sent in from here community.

Early on in the pandemic, Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford, championed free schools meals for poorer families struggling through income loss and coronavirus restrictions. He too raises concerns of the quality of support provided by the scheme:

The Good Law project revealed in their findings on the UK Government food box scheme, that each food box cost an incredible £44 each, reflecting  a £69% mark up on the £26 retail price of similar supermarket boxes. Most concerning of all is the Government, again awarded the contract – worth £208million – without a competitive tender, to foodservice wholesaler, Bidfood and Brakes.

For those interested in the detail of this and other Government contracts awarded for food parcel and related support during Covid, we’ve pulled together a table of all known contracts around food parcels here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTweUvoUgxleSDOddYYcIHEfDy9VzMaQ5OPx5033JparmvgVm2rr-NVHhH35CgAd1IShl7R-XDRz0Gr/pubhtml.

Food box contracts

Value (£) Buyer Title Description Duration (months) Published date Supplier Link
£15,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS External Consultancy COVID 19 Food Boxes External assurance to Government regarding the delivery of the Shielded Vulnerable COVID 19 Food Boxes 25 28/04/2020 CLICK ON LOGISTICS LTD https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/b01a2c8b-e9bf-45d6-a622-c98bc632e5a4
£104,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes — Shielded Vulnerable COV19 The procurement of foodstuffs and other essential supplies to kit food boxes and delivery of said boxes to the shielded vulnerable cohort as identified by DHSC under the Covid-19 Emergency. 0 08/05/2020 BFS T/A BIDFOOD http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:215876-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML
£208,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes — Shielded Vulnerable COV19 The procurement of foodstuffs and other essential supplies to kit food boxes and delivery of said boxes to the shielded vulnerable cohort as identified by DHSC under the Covid-19 Emergency. 0 08/05/2020 BRAKES, BULBS & MORE LTD https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=MAY333518
£104,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes — Shielded Vulnerable COV19 The procurement of foodstuffs and other essential supplies to kit food boxes and delivery of said boxes to the shielded vulnerable cohort as identified by DHSC under the Covid-19 Emergency. 0 08/05/2020 BRAKES, BULBS & MORE LTD http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:215876-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML
£104,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes – Shielded Vulnerable COV19 Supply Assembly and Delivery of Food Boxes to persons designated Shielded Vulnerable under the COVID 19 Emergency 98 06/05/2020 BFS T/A BIDFOOD https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/c8d13eea-f7db-4cff-8f15-6c0c1aed1d7f
£104,000,000 DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS Food Boxes – Shielded Vulnerable COV19 Supply Assembly and Delivery of Food Boxes to persons designated Shielded Vulnerable under the COVID 19 Emergency 132 30/06/2020 BRAKES, BULBS & MORE LTD https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/c8d13eea-f7db-4cff-8f15-6c0c1aed1d7f
£71,000,000 SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT Food Boxes for the Clinically Vulnerable As part of the Scottish Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent requirement for a system of delivering boxes of essential groceries to individuals designated as clinically vulnerable i.e. with health conditions which require them to be shielded from potential exposure to the virus. Demand is estimated at around 60,000 individuals in Scotland. CPV: 60180000, 15897300, 85312200. 0 12/06/2020 BRAKE BROS LIMITED https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=JUN388055
£6,300,000 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provision and Delivery of Food Boxes to Vulnerable People in Self-isolation Following Covid-19 Due to the outbreak of Corona Virus, an immediate and urgent requirement to provide food products to those most in need within our society was identified. This notice details the arrangements put in place due to the urgency of the requirement. Weekly requirements for food provisions have been split across three suppliers using an approximate ratio of 50:30:20 based on cost and ability to meet the required volumes. 0 12/06/2020 LYNAS FOODSERVICE https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=JUN336317
£2,100,000 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provision and Delivery of Food Boxes to Vulnerable People in Self-isolation Following Covid-19 Due to the outbreak of Corona Virus, an immediate and urgent requirement to provide food products to those most in need within our society was identified. This notice details the arrangements put in place due to the urgency of the requirement. Weekly requirements for food provisions have been split across three suppliers using an approximate ratio of 50:30:20 based on cost and ability to meet the required volumes. 0 12/06/2020 MUSGRAVE DISTRIBUTION LTD http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:275513-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML
£2,100,000 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provision and Delivery of Food Boxes to Vulnerable People in Self-isolation Following Covid-19 Due to the outbreak of Corona Virus, an immediate and urgent requirement to provide food products to those most in need within our society was identified. This notice details the arrangements put in place due to the urgency of the requirement. Weekly requirements for food provisions have been split across three suppliers using an approximate ratio of 50:30:20 based on cost and ability to meet the required volumes. 0 12/06/2020 LYNAS FOODSERVICE http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:275513-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML
£2,100,000 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provision and Delivery of Food Boxes to Vulnerable People in Self-isolation Following Covid-19 Due to the outbreak of Corona Virus, an immediate and urgent requirement to provide food products to those most in need within our society was identified. This notice details the arrangements put in place due to the urgency of the requirement. Weekly requirements for food provisions have been split across three suppliers using an approximate ratio of 50:30:20 based on cost and ability to meet the required volumes. 0 12/06/2020 HENDERSON FOODSERVICE LIMITED http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:275513-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML

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