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UK school lunch blog photos back on menu

LONDON - A 9-year-old blogger won a food fight with authorities in her Scottish town Friday after an online outcry prompted officials to lift a ban on posting photos of her school lunches.

Martha Payne’s images of uninspiring school meals - one consisted of two croquettes, a plain cheeseburger, three slices of cucumber, and a lollipop - drew international attention. The blog, set up about six weeks ago as a writing project and to help raise money for a school-meals charity, has drawn more than 2 million hits.

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Martha, who lives in the coastal town of Lochgilphead, about 130 miles west of Edinburgh, gave each meal a “food-o-meter’’ rating and offered an assessment of its contents.

Local officials weren’t amused and ordered her to stop taking pictures. In a statement, Argyll and Bute Council said the photos were misleading and had caused distress to cafeteria staff.

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The Internet storm was quickly followed by an official U-turn. Argyll and Bute Council leader Roddy McCuish said he had ordered an end to the ban.

Amid the publicity, donations to the charity the blog had been promoting climbed from $4,700 to more than $62,000.

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