About a year and a half a ago I stumbled upon a new blog (as I'm apt to do) that really got me thinking. I was in the midst of my fellowship work (I'll be posting on that soon and the impact it had on my life) and was consequentially VERY interested in school food, childhood hunger, federal nutrition programs and the like (still am, just not working in that area anymore).
That new blog I found was very much in its nascent stages at that point but some super dudes/dudettes in the child nutrition/child hunger arena had discovered it's author and her anonymous blogging about school lunch and it was starting to gain a following.
Fed Up with School Lunch: The School Lunch Project was the brainchild of "Mrs Q" an elementary school teacher in a large urban city who decided to eat school lunch every day for a year and journal the process.
Those of us who were already involved in the child nutrition/child hunger community knew about the poor quality of school lunches and knew also that for many children from low-income households- that questionable school lunch could be the best meal, if not the only meal, they eat all day.
I'm not going to lie. I was a bit annoyed with Mrs Q at times. I already knew school lunch was awful and I was a bit full of myself (as those of us in the social justice community can be at times. It's a problem I'll be the first to admit it. AND the subject for another time). I rolled my eyes every time she talked about choking down another nasty bagel-dog and had a bit of a holier-than-thou attitude. "I'm working in DC on important anti-poverty policy initiatives and I have it all figured out" (that was my attitude at times I'm ashamed to say. And it wasn't just directed at Mrs Q. I definitely needed to get of my high horse/soap box combo. Perhaps it was a rocking horse made out of a soap box?).
But I admired (and still do) the amazing risk she was taking in blogging undercover about the less-than-stellar lunch menu and lunch policies at her elementary school.
And I was thrilled when she became not just disgusted with the food itself but an activist wanting to change school food for the better. On top of already being a public school teacher in an underfunded district working with children, the vast majority of whom received free or reduced-price lunch, she was now taking on the deplorable state of school nutrition.
Well fast forward to the present day and "Mrs Q" has just come out of the closet. No, not in the sense that she's announcing her sexuality status. But she's revealed her real name (Sarah Wu) and gone on several talk shows/news shows to share her story and her passion for reforming school food (not just lunch but school breakfast as well).
She's also published a book! I've ordered it (wanted the hard copy not just the kindle e-book version) and will post a review once I've thoroughly devoured its pages (pun intended). I'm predicting its going to be pretty awesome.
Hat's off to Mrs Q/Sarah Wu! You're one brave lady and I think you rock! Keep up the good work.