Martha Payne’s “Never Seconds” Hit By A Million!
When she started writing a blog, “Never Seconds,” to expose the truth behind her school lunch, Martha Payne was only hoping that her family and friends will notice it. However, the nine-year-old has met success beyond her expectations as her blog has attracted a million hits with children from the world over sharing the photographs of their own school lunches. It seems, Payne is on the threshold of a huge movement against the less-than-satisfactory school lunches and the fact that she is getting support from children from different nationalities is only heartening to know.
1) The Blog
Martha started writing the blog as a project along with her father, Dave. She took a snap of one of her measly school meals – pizza, potato croquette, some sweet corn, and a cup cake. The picture also showed a lot of empty space on her plate. She wrote, “It’s usually pretty horrible. I’d like them to serve more and may be let some people have seconds if they want to… and not serve stuff that’s a wee bit disgusting.” These tough words from a nine-year-old were enough to pull the plug on the cafeteria lunches in her school. She wrote and uploaded pictures on the blog with the permission of her teachers. Apart from uploading pictures, she also rated the food on a scale one to ten.
2) The Applause
The million hits generated on her blog are from some of the far away corners of the world like Taiwan, Japan, and Spain, not to mention, America too. Children in these countries have sent photos of their school lunches to Martha to be shared with one and all. It is the media storm generated by the blog that attracted the response to her blog and, of course, Martha is elated, as she wrote on her blog, “Whilst I was having my tea my blog went through 1 million hits! When I started writing this I thought only my family and friend would see it so it’s amazing so many people have visited and you all care about school food.”
3) The Supporters
In this case, Internet has bridged the geographical barriers as school children shared sad, happy, colorful, dull photos of their school lunches with Martha, who, in turn, posted them on her blog for everyone to see. Looks like the children in other countries also find it a struggle to like their school lunch. Sample a few examples:
A Glenview School, Chicago, student shared a picture showing spaghetti Bolognese, fruit and vegetables being served at her school.
A Yokohama, Japan, student sent the picture of the school lunch, which had rice, pickled Daikon radish, sour plum, and steamed okra in it.
Another picture from Pol Elia from Spain had a picture of a vegetable stew being served at her school.
4) The Improvement
Meanwhile, the cafeteria lunches at Martha’s school are showing improvement thanks to the awareness caused by the nine-year-old’s blogs. First of all, the students can ask for second helpings or more portions of foods they like. Secondly, so that no particular food item falls short of the student demand, students are asked about what they would like to have for lunch out of the menu every day, so that each student can have a satisfactory meal. For this, students are also given bands of a particular color and they have to pick up only that lunch during the lunch hour. However, as per her blog, there still seems scope for improvement, as Martha wrote recently, “I ordered an enchilada but I got a sausage and bean pita pocket. My pineapple ring didn’t even make it to the table, I ate it on the way! Inside the pita bread are baked beans and mini sausages. It’s quite difficult to eat because it all falls out as you pick it up!”
5) The Fan
Celebrity Chef and health activist Jamie Oliver is also among the legions of fans that Martha has attracted ever since she started writing her blog. In fact, so impressed is Oliver with the little girl’s efforts that he even wrote a message for her in his book “Jamie’s Great Britain” and sent it across to her. Martha shared a photo of the same on her blog and wrote back, “Thanks Jamie! I do intend to keep it up!”
Although, the one million mark is just a beginning of a huge responsibility that Martha has decided to shoulder, it is her voice of sanity, which could well be the death knell for the measly UK school lunches. Don’t forget to pitch in with your support to Martha Payne!!