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
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.