Talks shows and newspapers were abuzz today as a school lunch blogger named Mrs. Q. shared her true identity with the world, revealing her name for the first time.
Beginning in January 2010, Sarah Wu, a speech pathologist in the Chicago Public Schools system started eating school lunch and secretly photographing it every day, recording it on her blog Fed Up with Lunch. After a chance encounter with the lunch earlier in the school year, she wanted to document a year’s worth of lunches as a personal project, never expecting much recognition from the project.
Instead, Sarah found that people were interested in what was being served in the school cafeteria’s day after day, and more than interested, perhaps a bit horrified as well. Gaining national attention and catching the eye of Food Revolution star Jamie Oliver.
Keeping her identity a secret, Sarah continued her quest and then wrote a book, Fed Up with Lunch, all about her experience and her perspective before and after. Today she came out and revealed her true identity just as her book launched on ABC‘s Good Morning America, The View and in many other news sources including the Chicago Tribune and USA Today.
I first met Sarah in October of 2010. She was speaking at BlogHer Food at the time, and our mutual friend, Michelle, introduced us, knowing that we had plenty to talk about. I would go on to run into Sarah multiple times in the next year, and I am beaming after hearing her speaking up to help change the food system in this country and in our schools to a national audience.
Sarah points out that for many students, like those on the free and reduced lunch programs, school lunch may be the most complete meal of their day. While there is no easy answer to the school lunch debate, I’m happy to see a friend helping the issue gain traction so that people can become more aware of the situation, which will hopefully drive change.