Child food blogger Martha Payne: ‘Thanks to the internet we can speak out’

Food blogger & activist Martha Payne in Malawi
Food blogger & activist Martha Payne in Malawi

One year ago, ten-year-old Scottish schoolgirl Martha Payne made headlines for blogging about her school meals and challenging food kids eat every day. At first, her primary school in Lochgilphead, western Scotland, forbade her from taking photos of what was on the lunch menu. But after her blog NeverSeconds went viral worldwide, the school gave in and announced all students would be given unlimited servings of fruit and vegetables.

Today, Payne is using her media success to champion food causes and raise money for a Mary’s Meals, a charity dedicated to support projects aimed at the poorest communities of the world to prevent child hunger.

The little blogger-activist told Metro how the internet and social media have been essential in helping others, and invites kids to be altruistic and visionary.

Q: How did you face the critics when you reported your school food in your school?

A: It was hard at times because not everyone was happy I was blogging. I did have permission from the school so I kept at it and didn’t give in. Because I was always honest it made it easier to face people.

Q: How did you realize the food in your school was unhealthy?

A: I live on a small farm and we grow some of our food. My food at home is very different. The food at school is very processed and I think simpler food is better.

Q: Now you support other kids worldwide. Can you tell us a little bit about that work?

A: My grandfather was a volunteer for Mary’s Meals and I have grown up knowing about it. Before my blog I made soaps and sold them to raise money for the charity. When someone commented on my blog that I was lucky to get any school lunch at all I decided to tell the readers about Mary’s Meals. I am glad I did!

Q: Do you consider yourself a role model for kids?

A: I didn’t plan to be a role model but if kids decide to do more to be heard and for others then I am happy!

Q: How would you encourage other kids and teenagers to join to this cause?

A: Kids are really good at sharing and getting along. We do it everyday in the playgrounds at our schools. We should remember we are the experts at that. Because of the internet we can share beyond our playground and countries. Also, don’t be scared to start a blog. You can change what you write without smudges, you can say what you care about and you can publish it!

Q: How important is social media for you?

A: My dad tweeted once about my blog and that’s how it started becoming famous. It is so quick to share stories that they can travel very fast. People do care about what children eat and about children that can’t get enough.

Q: Which is your favorite gadget?

A: My camera! I don’t have any other gadgets and use the family laptop to blog.

Q: Do you already know what are you going to study when you grow up?

A: I think I’d like to be an author or a journalist or a runner. Maybe I could be all three!



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."