A lovely little girl of 9, like most of her age, was in sympathy for other kids starving. She started a blog to raise money for them, her particular target being to help a project called Mary’s Kitchen in Africa.
In her blog, NeverSeconds, she uploaded images of her school dinners and rated them. Every post included a picture of the meal and a ratings list, including “number of mouthfuls”,”health rating” and “pieces of hair”. The hair was usually zero, the health about 5/10. the taste 8 or 9 out of ten.
An example of the school dinner photos published on NeverSeconds included an “alright” slice of pizza, a smattering of sweetcorn and a lonely potato croquette.
“I’d have enjoyed more than 1 croquet,” Martha grizzled, “I’m a growing kid and I need to concentrate all afternoon and I can’t do it on 1 croquette. Do any of you think you could?”
There was no real criticism of the food. Just an occasional remark that she was still hungry. And like Oliver Twist, she was still hungry and wanted more.
But the Mr. Bumbles in the local Council told her to cut it out.
So Martha sadly uploaded a farewell post, titled “Goodbye” which read:
“This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.
“I only write my blog, not newspapers, and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don’t think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary’s Meals either.
The Council snarled in the Press that it “wholly refutes the unwarranted attacks on its schools catering service”. Then carried on with more typical huffing and puffing, saying staff were terrified of losing their jobs. Not unlike the hogwash we get when someone writes a complaint and gets prosecuted for hate speech.
“The Council has directly avoided any criticism of anyone involved in
the ‘never seconds’ blog for obvious reasons despite a strongly held
view that the information presented in it misrepresented the options and choices available to pupils however this escalation means we had to act to protect staff from the distress and harm it was causing.
In particular, the photographic images uploaded appear to only represent a fraction of the choices available to pupils, so a decision has been made by the Council to stop photos being taken in the school canteen.
In typical bullshit fashion, after saying that they have avoided criticism of anyone they then had a slam at the kid’s dad. They said they had received no complaints for the past two years about the quality of school meals, other than one from the Payne family.
Which is strange because after the ban was imposed dad added a note to his daugher’s blog that the school staff were wonderful people and they got on really well.
The Council went on, “Pupils have a daily choice of two meals from a menu which is designed with pupils, parents and teachers. Our summer menu is about to be launched and includes main course choices like meat or vegetarian lasagne served with carrots and garlic bread or chicken pie with puff pastry, mashed potato and mixed vegetables.
“There is portion sized guidance which we adhere to and it is matched to the age of the child so they get the right amount of food. Second portions would mean too many calories for pupils.” They are fighting obesity you see, in the best possible way, by reducing the amount of food they kids eat.
In other words Council’s spokesparrot, Rumplestilskin says the food is fabulous, we know what’s best for the kids, we don’t know what she is complaining about, her family are abunch of whingers, yaddedah yaddedah spin spin spin.”
Then as Esperanto natives say “Da stuffhidda da fan.”
Millions heard about it and told the Council what they thought of them.
Backtrack, backflip, misunderstanding. Ban lifted.
After people expressed their contempt for the Council donations began to come in.
Martha had been disappointed she could not raise her target of about $4000. So far it has hit about $95,000 for the kids in Malawi.
Footnote :Many of the children who attend these Mary’s Kitchens centres are orphans. They are a safe place for them to spend their day. The children stay until around 3pm and receive 2 meals: Likuni Phala (porridge) in the morning and a maize and vegetable stew before they leave. Two meals are provided because their young age makes them more vulnerable to the effects of
malnutrition. The volunteers teach them songs, rhymes, and introduce
them to counting and the alphabet. The aim of this early introduction to education is to encourage later enrolment in primary school. The children are also regularly visited by a Mary’s Meals Nurse who provides treatment for parasite infection.