How one girl’s determination can change school nutrition

A 9-year-old girl from Western Scotland named Martha ‘Veg’ Payne started a blog called NeverSeconds that caught the attention of Scotland’s politicians. Her blog documented her public primary school’s lunches, chronicling the low points and the high points. Because she was documenting some of the unhealthy and unappetizing lunches her school was serving to the students, she received some negative feedback from Scotland’s politicians and her school.  With her father owning a farming property, and a physician for a mother, Martha is no stranger to nutrition and health. She began her blog in the early part of May and it went viral in just a few days. Within weeks, Martha had a million viewers. By the middle of June, her viewer count jumped to two million and she received support from television “cheflebrity,” Jamie Oliver. She’s made her way into coverage from The Telegraph, Time, the Daily Mail and numerous food blogs.

This was not all the attention she received. Once the school found out what was going on, she was forbidden to bring her camera to her classes. The school also insisted she shut down her blog. Martha, known as ‘Veg’ on her blog, spoke about the incident stating she was taken to her head teacher’s office and was told she was not allowed to take any new photos of her school dinners. This came about due to a newspaper’s headline that particular day.

Here is a child who is passionate about nutrition and motivated to make positive changes. She was able to influence a change of the cafeteria food in her district within two weeks. In fact, children in her school were allowed unlimited fruit, salads and bread. Martha also got children all over the world excited about their school lunches. Over the seven-week life of her blogs, she received photos of school lunches from Japan, Germany, Finland, Spain, Illinois and Washington State, just to name a few.  Martha sounds like our kind of girl!