School Dinners or packed lunch? There was a time when this was the question to end all questions. It determined who your friends were, whether you were ‘cool’ or ‘not cool’ and all those other important school-related issues. In recent years school dinners have come under fire from a wide range of critics such as celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. However the newest critic on the school dinner block, nine-year-old Martha Payne, has been forced to ceasefire.
Martha started her own blog, with the help of her father, just a couple of months ago on the 30th of April and went on to take snaps of her school dinner each day. She gave each meal a ‘food-o-meter’ and health rating, and counted the number of mouthfuls it took her to eat it. The meals which cost £2 a day were often condemned by Martha, who has raised £2,000 for charity Mary’s meals.
On Thursday evening the blog, called NeverSeconds, carried a goodbye message as Martha was asked by her Headteacher to stop taking pictures of her lunch. It would appear that it was in fact the council’s decision, not the school’s, to put a stop to the criticism made by the blog. Argyll and Bute Council made the decision to impose a ban after the Daily Record newspaper published a photograph of Martha alongside chef Nick Nairn under the headline “Time to fire the dinner ladies.”
Amongst Martha’s pictures were slices of pizza, a lonesome croquet potato, some sweetcorn, a burger and an ice lolly. As of yet Argyll and Bute council are yet to comment.
Zoe Hall “I think they should allow the girl to carry on, I have a child who is just about to start school and looking at these pictures she will be taking a packed lunch…… Get school meals sorted out now is what I say.”
Billy Meek “A council failing and instead of addressing the issue they try to hide it, well done to the nine year old that highlighted the problem, thumbs down to the council!”
Donnie Robson “Shocking on the school. The girl should keep up with her blog but just use words rather than pictures to keep it up to date.”
Julie Reilly “Clearly the school can be proud of their academic record if this child is able to set up and keep up a blog! Less so of their nutritional offerings ….”
Tracy Brodrick “I come from the area and the kids have a wide range to choose from including a salad bar where they help them self so what you see on her plate not a true representation of what is on offer. This is what she has put on or asked for. She also has the choice to bring in her own packed lunch. I thinks it’s must be awful for the ladies who prepare the food as this is not there fault . They have also lifted the ban after its been on national news and it’s is said its not her writing the whole blog…”