A child's personal project turned into a documentary Yuck: A 4th Grader's Short Documentary About School Lunch. The film is 19 minutes long and has won several film festival awards. The trailers here are just short clips, but you can find a schedule of screenings at the film site.
In the fall of 2011, fourth grader Zachary Maxwell began asking his parents if he could start packing and bringing his own lunch to school. Unfortunately, they kept insisting that he take advantage of the hot lunch being served at the school. After all, the online menu sounded delicious and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) website assured parents that the meals were nutritious. Zachary wanted to convince his parents that the online menu did not accurately represent what was really being served at his school.
In an effort to prove his point, Zachary started sneaking a small HD camera into the lunchroom to show his parents the truth. Over the next six months, Zachary would continue to gather "inside" footage and research the claims being made by the DOE and the media about the City's public school lunch program.
To the surprise of no one besides his parents, the published menus differed quite a bit from the actual lunches served in schools. To be fair, all the lunches at his elementary school are free, and I've seen much worse. But Zachary Maxwell has a wonderful career ahead of him in filmmaking, journalism, or whatever he decides to do.
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