11-year-old makes school cafeteria food documentary

June 18, 2013 3:08:43 PM PDT
An 11-year-old New York City school student frustrated with the food at school used his camera to film a short movie.

It's called "Yuck: A 4th Grader's Short Documentary about School Lunch".

It's going to be screened Friday at the Manhattan Film Festival.

It was meant to be undercover video of the cafeteria food at Manhattan's P.S. 130.

"At first, I was going to make just a five minute viral video, but then I realized there was more of a story," said Zack Maxwell, a student filmmaker.

11-year-old filmmaker Zack Maxwell says his 20 minute documentary came after he complained to his parents about the food at school.

"So I decided to take a little flip camera and bring it to school so I could, like, shoot my lunch, and when I brought it home, they were like, 'oh my gosh,'" Maxwell said.

The filming ended after Zack was caught.

"So the lunch monitor caught me because my lookouts that I hired were too busy looking at girls," Maxwell said.

The principal declined to speak to Eyewitness News, we were not allowed into the cafeteria and the principal apparently directed staff members to tell us not to speak to kids about the food.

The principal issued a statement saying, "The school is trying to promote healthier options for students and have included a salad bar as part of the lunch line giving students the option to select a variety of vegetables. In addition, students were asked by the School Food Office to join an advisory group to help improve healthier options for lunch."

"He doesn't like it," said Grethel Trejos, a P.S. 130 parent.

"Your son doesn't like it?" asked Art McFarland, Eyewitness News Education reporter.

"He does not like the food here," Trejos said.

"What does he say about it?" McFarland asked.

"Yucky," Trejos said.

"He uses that word, yucky?" McFarland asked.

"He does," Trejos said.

The Department of Education says the city standard is for healthy and appetizing food.

"We make sure there are quality controls in place, and if there's a problem, we work on correcting that," said Dennis Walcott, NYC Schools Chancellor.

Zack now brings his own lunch to school, and now, he has bigger ideas.

"Definitely. When I grow up, I want to be a big shot filmmaker," Maxwell said.

As they say, "this kid may have a future."