SIR: Khalid Aziz’s column ‘No such thing as a free lunch’ (Chronicle, November 12) struck a chord. During and after World War 2 I lived with my latterly disabled father, the two of us existing on minimal National Assistance.

I was one of only two boys in a grammar school of 1,000 boys who received free school dinners. On one occasion the Head Boy was on dinner duty controlling the queue to the canteen and collecting the tickets. When it was my turn he said “So you have free dinners Wright” as I gave him my bright red ticket used to differentiate free dinners from the green tickets which had been bought. That Head Boy now sits in the House of Lords. During school holidays I walked some distance to The Salvation Army for my daily meal.

There was rationing of just about everything at the time and the basic ingredients were of poor quality and the meals unappetising to the point of being unpalatable. Even so, it was a matter of take it or leave it and nobody dare waste food in those days. Like Khalid however, I developed an aversion to some foods like dried egg, gelatine, yellow margarine and stringy parsnips. All this experience conditions my thinking and attitudes to this day.

Unlike Khalid, however, I have followed football all my life and Marcus Rashford is apparently paid £10 million a year and for what? Educated feet. If he is so concerned about his fellow human beings surely he could afford a few bob of his own money and buy lots of school meals at about £2 a time.

And as Khalid suggests, together with all Marcus’s other obscenely overpaid football mates contributing as well, the issue of free meals would be resolved without resorting to the taxpayer - but don’t hold your breath.

E. Wright,

Alexandra Road,

Chandler’s Ford,