Published on June 21st, 2012 | by Heather Carr0
Censorship Feeds 2000 Hungry Children for a Year
Nine-year-old Martha Payne blogs about her school lunch, posting photos and rating taste, health, mouthfuls, and number of hairs found in it. When a newspaper article about her blog had a negative headline, the local governing council told Martha she could no longer post photos of her school lunches. What followed was a kerfuffle that raised enough money to feed 2000 hungry children for a year.
Martha Payne lives in Scotland and began blogging about her school lunch at NeverSeconds with the help of her father Dave. Each day, she posts a photo of her lunch, writes a description of it, and rates it. She also raises money for the charity Mary’s Meals, which feeds children in developing countries. Her impressions of the school lunch seem mostly positive, so it’s surprising that anyone would have a problem with her blog.
In mid-June, a newspaper wrote an article about NeverSeconds with the headline “Time to Fire the Dinner Ladies”. The Argyll and Bute Council informed Martha she would no longer be allowed to photograph her lunch, due to the negative attention. The censorship lasted less than a day, but in that time, Martha raised nearly $150,000 for Mary’s Meals.
The donations are funding the building of a full kitchen for a school in Malawi and enough food to feed the 2000 children who attend the school for a year. The kitchen is being named “Friends of NeverSeconds” in honor of Martha.