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Anybody that has ever been subjected to a school cafeteria lunch can attest that they range from totally awesome and nutritious, to completely gross and unhealthy. When they tend to be more the latter, some of us grin and eat it because we are starving, while others just put it in the trash and move on. One young girl however decided that she needed to take action. And in this Internet era, what better way to do it, than starting a blog?
Nine-year old Martha Payne goes to a school in West Scotland, an area that is not subject to school lunch nutrition standards that are strictly adhered to, in most parts of Britain. Therefore, her lunch (or dinner as they call it in Scotland) can be quite inconsistent. Not only that, the ordering system is rather confusing so what shows up on the plate can be very different, from what the student had requested.
To see if she could bring some of these issues to light, the young girl decided to take action by taking a picture of her school dinner everyday and rating it under six categories - Ranging from the overall quality (Food-o-meter) to how healthy it was, to even, how many pieces of hair it contained (which thankfully has not happened yet!). She called the blog 'Never Seconds' because they were never allowed to have a second serving.
Martha thought that the blog would be fun for her immediate friends and family to view and respond to - Initially, that is exactly what happened. However, the word soon spread and she started receiving comments and pictures of lunches from kids all over the world - ranging from Washington DC to Japan. Some bragged about their delicious fare while others moaned. Her daily entry has become so popular that in the few months since she launched the site, over a million people have visited 'Never Seconds'.
And, it gets better. Her brave revelation of the bad lunches has resulted in the school board scurrying to make changes to the program and on May 25th, 2012, the young girl was finally able to post this entry :
It happened today! As we lined up for lunch we were officially told that we are all allowed as much salad, fruit and bread as we want and that we had always been able to.....well my friends and I never knew that. It must have been a well kept secret. Everyone is really happy about the news now. We can have fruit and a dessert, fruit if you have a starter and both salad and veg! It's much clearer.
While the young girl certainly did not begin this as a crusade against her school cafeteria food, it has certainly turned out that way and as a result, the students of her school and hopefully other schools who are serving similar fare, may have something better and healthier to look forward at lunch time. Just shows what one can do single-handedly at any age if, one puts their mind to it.