Published: 16:48 BST, 28 September 2020 | Updated: 18:28 BST, 28 September 2020

Students and parents have complained about inadequate food parcels for locked-down freshers – including baked beans, Pot Noodles and tins of chicken meatballs.

A vegan fresher at the University of Edinburgh was even given a ‘Mars bar and a croissant for dinner’ in a move described by her mother Tina McKenzie as ‘chaotic’.

Ms McKenzie took to Twitter to complain after her daughter, who has just started her studies in Edinburgh, was handed food that didn’t fit her strict dietary requirements.

She wrote: ‘My daughter is in quarantine in her halls in Edinburgh. They said they would deliver food- she advised she is vegan @EdinburghUni sent a mars bar and croissant #chaotic.’

Food parcels are delivered for students at Murano Street student village on September 28, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland

A vegan fresher at the University of Edinburgh was even given a ‘Mars bar and a croissant for dinner’ in a move described by her mother Tina McKenzie as ‘chaotic’ (pictured)

Vegans cannot eat animals or animal products such as eggs or milk – key ingredients of both Mars bars and croissants.  

Ms McKenzie later confirmed her daughter had eaten. She tweeted: ‘Happy to update that Molly has had some food and taking things in her stride.’ 

A living support assistant (LSA) from one of the affected residences told The Glasgow Guardian: ‘I was on duty the other night and I had a girl phone me saying she hadn’t eaten anything for 24 hours because she’s high risk and can’t leave her room, and no one’s left her a food bag or anything.’

The student was given a food parcel made up of pasta, pot noodles, tinned foods, oats and juice. The worker added: ‘There’s really nothing you can make a meal with in there, it might do you for an hour or two, but you certainly wouldn’t be able to survive off that.’ 

This is a food package brought for international students by the chaplaincy at the University of Lincoln. It is filled with beans, rice, toothpaste and pasta

Food parcels were left in the hallway of Murano Street student village. Some 124 students at the University of Glasgow have tested positive for coronavirus, and 600 students are currently self-isolating

A living support assistant (LSA) from one of the affected residences told The Glasgow Guardian: ‘I was on duty the other night and I had a girl phone me saying she hadn’t eaten anything for 24 hours because she’s high risk.’ Pictured, students in Glasgow

It comes as Professor Malcolm Press, Manchester Metropolitan University’s vice-chancellor, confirmed students would be given a care package containing ‘basic food’, to ensure they felt ‘protected and cared for’.

Students in Manchester and Glasgow were locked in their halls and told to self-isolate without warning via email last week.  

Some 124 students at the University of Glasgow have tested positive for coronavirus and 600 students are currently self-isolating. 

Speaking to Sky News, Prof Press said: ‘It will be a package that I think students will appreciate, that allows them to rest assured, while they’re in this situation, they don’t have any particular financial worries as a consequence.’ 

A student receives a delivery of what looks like a few bottles of rosé at Birley Block in Manchester today

The University of Lincoln posted two images of food packages online. They wrote: ‘This is the food care package we give to our international students’

Students from Glasgow University receive food parcels at their accommodation at Murano Street student village on September 28

Another student complained Unite Students, which runs New Medlock House in Manchester, didn’t tell them when their food delivery arrived from Morrisons.

They wrote: ‘I think I’m not the only one who’s had this. But #Newmedlockhouse didn’t even bring up or accept or food parcels yesterday. We were promised they would help us regarding we are self isolating. But they have done nothing. (1)

‘This isn’t the only issue we have had already in our time self isolating when our items what needed to be put in the fridge arrived in a Morrisons box. They didn’t bother giving it us morning following (2).

‘And despite the fact we had to choose someone to get it from reception is beyond a f*****g joke. They didn’t notify us it arrived. And if it wasn’t for the girl on the floor below. We’d would’ve struggled to get through the weekend (3) 

Students from Glasgow University receive food parcels at their accommodation at Murano Street student village. Professor Malcolm Press, Manchester Metropolitan University’s vice-chancellor, confirmed students would be given a care package containing ‘basic food’

‘To top it off. They didn’t even bring it inside the reception. They left it outside all night. Also this place is riddled with rats. We’ve got rubbish stacking up out the front of our door. And if it wasn’t for our s**t sleeping patterns no one would’ve taken it out at 5am (4).’   

A Unite Students spokesman said: ‘Our teams are 100 per cent focused on supporting students and are typically very responsive, ensuring food deliveries reach their destination particularly when students are self-isolating. 

Prof Press said details were being discussed with students, but added that ‘a financial package means hard cash’, with it representing ‘more than an actual week’s rent’.

‘Students will be receiving financial compensation to ensure that they feel protected and cared for during this period of self isolation,’ he said.

His comments came after Glasgow University said it will refund all students in halls of residence one month’s rent, along with a £50 payment for food, amid an outbreak of coronavirus cases there.

Another student complained Unite Students, which runs New Medlock House in Manchester, didn’t tell them when their food delivery arrived from Morrisons (pictured)

Over the weekend fears were raised among a number of students at Manchester Metropolitan University that they were being falsely imprisoned in their accommodation, with human rights lawyers questioning the legality of security staff enforcing a 14-day isolation period.

Students described being scared and confused as their accommodation was locked down on Friday, after 127 people tested positive for coronavirus.

They were later told the decision, made in conjunction with Public Health England and Manchester City Council, was ‘deemed necessary’ to prevent the spread of the virus to other students, staff or the community.

But Prof Press told Sky News on Monday: ‘We were asked to ensure (students) would self-isolate because there had been an outbreak of Covid into halls of residence.

Morrisons has launced a SOS ‘Serve our Students’ food delivery service (pictured) to help those who are self isolating in halls and campuses

‘We’re advising students on the rules, what they should do, we’re supporting them, but the idea that they’re not able to leave is just not true I’m afraid.

‘Students are free to go should they wish to and a small number of students have gone home in a Covid-secure way.’

Prof Press also said there had been some ‘miscommunication’ within the university over students being asked to remove posters.

‘We’ve retracted that information, students are very free to put posters up and we obviously value freedom of speech, and it’s just regretful that there was a message sent out in error,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Morrisons has launced a SOS ‘Serve our Students’ food delivery service to help those who are self isolating in halls and campuses. 

Students will be able to choose from five different food boxes – Meat Essentials, Vegetarian Essentials, Easy Meals for the Week and Big Night In.  

David Potts, Morrisons Chief Executive, said: ‘Students have asked for our help and that’s why we are making sure they can safely access affordable food at this very difficult time. We’re playing our full part in feeding the nation so that no one is left behind.’

The students will be able to place their order by 2pm for delivery that evening. If successful, the service will be rolled out to other universities across the country.  

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News – Locked-down students say they ‘can’t survive’ on food parcels