A version of this story was published by Journalists for Transparency for a special series titled ‘SPOILED: Corruption from Farm to Table’.
LANZHOU, China—There were so many students in the hospital that morning that Li had trouble finding her own daughter.
“They put four to five children to a single bed. They just didn’t have enough beds to fit all of them,” says Li, who requested only her surname be used.
Her second-grade daughter was one of 244 primary school students in the central Chinese province of Gansu that fell ill in April 2013 after eating a government-subsidized school breakfast. The students, from five different schools in Gansu’s poor, remote Anding District, were stricken with severe diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pains.