Nine-Year-Old’s Blog Forces School to Improve Lunches
Nine-year-old student and public school lunch eater, Martha Payne, has confirmed one very important truth about today’s digital world: Getting policy change enacted may be just one viral blog post away.
After too many nutritionally deprived and unsatisfying lunches at her school in Argyll, Scotland, Martha decided to take her frustrations to the web. In May of 2012, Martha’s father, Dave, helped her launch her blog, Never Seconds, where she could post pictures of her school lunches for all to see, along with a few opinions and rankings of her own.
In just three weeks, Never Seconds has become a global sensation, receiving visits from more than 325,000 web users in addition to recognition from famous public school lunch activist, Jamie Oliver.
In an interview with BBC, Martha’s father, Dave, said that when Martha started coming home with pictures of her school lunches, he was shocked. He noted that when the monthly menus are released, the meal plans look nutritionally balanced. “You’re left with this image it’s a healthy meal your children are being offered,” Dave said.
On her blog, Martha stated, “The good thing about this blog is Dad understands why I am hungry when I get home.” She went on to say in a later post,”I’m a growing kid and I need to concentrate all afternoon and I can’t do it on 1 croquette.”
While a representative of the school system claimed that other, healthier food options were available such as mini tomatoes and watercress, Martha insisted she had never seen them as option. Nonetheless, the world-wide recognition forced her school to make positive changes.
On May 17, 2012, Martha announced that her school would be offering students unlimited salad, fruit and bread–all they have to do is ask. In her blog post from Friday, Martha said, “I was a bit nervous to ask but I did ask for more peas!”
Martha plans to continue blogging about her school lunch experiences and hopes to inspire other children to do the same in other parts of the world. Other children can also submit pictures and rankings of their lunches to be posted on Never Seconds.
Image credit: Never Seconds