Poppy, 7, in Meals Plea to PM

Daily Mirror

Newspapers do not usually hand the responsibility for writing the front page to a seven-year-old. But the Mirror did just that on June 30 2023 with its bold, innovative and eye-catching splash.

The whole of page 1 was devoted to a letter to Rishi Sunak from seven-year-old Poppy in which she urged the Prime Minister to extend free school meals to all primary school children in England.

As she wrote: “If you don’t have food, your brain won’t learn.”

This was a front-page that grabbed the reader’s attention by daring to be different. Poppy’s letter worked because of its emotional pull and her brilliant explanation of the importance of free school meals.

The Mirror is campaigning for England to follow Scotland and Wales by rolling out free school meals for all primary school pupils.

Our campaign has been backed by more than 200 organisations and individuals, including Tom Kerridge and Henry Dimbleby.

It has already resulted in change, with Sadiq Khan funding free school meals for all primary-age children in London from this September.

The front-page featuring Poppy’s letter is a perfect demonstration of how papers can use striking images and words to influence the public debate and bring about change.