Mother claims parents who can’t afford to feed their children should ‘forage apples’

A mother has been blasted on social media after claiming parents who don’t cook their children meals from scratch are ‘lazy’ and should try ‘foraging apples’ if they can’t afford to buy food.

Helen Thomas, originally from Ireland, made the remarks in response to a tweet by Nigel Farage after MPs rejected plans to provide free school meals for children during the Easter holidays.

Last night a Labour motion to extend the scheme was rejected by 322 votes to 261 – a majority of 61. It was the latest setback in Manchester United star Marcus Rashford’s plea for the Government to fund hot meals for the most needy children during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Mr Farage tweeted: ‘If the government can subsidise Eat Out to Help Out, not being seen to give poor kids lunch in the school holidays looks mean and is wrong.’

Helen Thomas, originally from Ireland, made the remarks in response to a tweet by Nigel Farage after MPs rejected plans to provide free school meals for children during the Easter holidays

Helen Thomas, originally from Ireland, made the remarks in response to a tweet by Nigel Farage after MPs rejected plans to provide free school meals for children during the Easter holidays

Mr Farage tweeted: 'If the government can subsidise Eat Out to Help Out, not being seen to give poor kids lunch in the school holidays looks mean and is wrong' - but Helen claimed parents who don't cook are 'lazy' and suggested they try foraging for apples

Mr Farage tweeted: ‘If the government can subsidise Eat Out to Help Out, not being seen to give poor kids lunch in the school holidays looks mean and is wrong’ – but Helen claimed parents who don’t cook are ‘lazy’ and suggested they try foraging for apples

But Helen disagreed, writing earlier today: ‘I forage apples at this time of the year, I cook from scratch, it’s not rocket science, it’s lazy parents. Food is inexpensive, home grown is cheap, just finished tomatoes and spuds.’

She went on to reveal that she also buys reduced food and cooks from scratch, adding: ‘It’s easy. We have a generation of whinging selfish parents who expect everything to be given to them,’ before asking: ‘We don’t hear of parents going hungry do we?’ 

Helen later went on to claim that as a nation,’we are obese, junk eating and lazy’, adding: ‘Look at those interviewed on television, always overweight with a fag and a mobile.’

Her remarks prompted a swathe of tweets in response, with many people pointing out that it can be difficult to go foraging for food in urban areas. 

Helen's remarks prompted a swathe of tweets in response, with many people pointing out that it can be difficult to go foraging for food in urban areas

Helen’s remarks prompted a swathe of tweets in response, with many people pointing out that it can be difficult to go foraging for food in urban areas

Others observed that many of the people who qualify for free school meals live in high rise housing with little to no access to green space. 

One tweeted: ‘Thanks, Helen, I’ll be sure to grow enough food to feed my family on my 8ftx4ft 3rd floor balcony and I’m sure it’ll be enough if I cap it off with a bit of scrumping for horse chestnuts in the nearby park. If I’m lucky, maybe I can snare a squirrel or something.’ 

‘Because parents in cities holding down two jobs just to make bare minimum ends meet have so much time for skipping round the countryside foraging for food. Ffs,’ wrote another.

‘This is great Helen, if you live in the countryside,’ pointed out another. ‘What about those living in flats and small houses, with no gardens in cities and towns with no magic apple trees and sky high rent. Imagine being so self-centred that you HONESTLY believe everyone lives the same life as you.’ 

Helen later explained that she has lived in two cities but now resides 'in the sticks' where apples fall in her garden - and she grows some of her vegetables 'in bags' - which prompted further furore

Helen later explained that she has lived in two cities but now resides ‘in the sticks’ where apples fall in her garden – and she grows some of her vegetables ‘in bags’ – which prompted further furore

And one quipped: ‘Dreadful parents with no access to neighbours with apple trees. How very dare they think of having children. Sterilise the lot of them. We don’t need the working class so why support them?’ 

Helen later explained that she has lived in two cities but now resides ‘in the sticks’ where apples fall in her garden – and she grows some of her vegetables ‘in bags’.

She added that her children still live at home because they can’t afford rents, explaining: ‘They have bikes rather than use public transport and we live in the sticks so no public transport nearby. Their plans to work and travel abroad all shelved.’   

Five Conservative MPs rebelled to support the motion, according to the division list. 

Labour had tried to use the Commons vote yesterday to call for free school meals to be extended over each school holiday from October half-term to Easter 2021 and appeared to have won the support of some rebel Tories, including Mr Halfon, chairman of the Commons Education Committee, who said the scheme should run until the spring at least.

However, the vote failed in a heated debate where one Tory MP suggested that reducing the length of the school summer holidays could help tackle food insecurity. 

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