Martha Payne

Our favorite Internet story of the past two months is the story of 9-year-old food blogger Martha Payne, of Scotland. With her dad’s help, Martha started a blog called NeverSeconds on April 30. Every school day she takes a picture of her school lunch, posts it on her blog, and writes about it. She rates each meal with her Food-o-meter. Martha’s blog began to “go viral” when celebrity chef Jamie Oliver tweeted about it. Then, on June 14, Martha’s town council, concerned over some negative comments about the school lunches, banned Martha from taking any more pictures. When fans heard about the ban, they flooded the town council’s website with comments, asking them to lift the ban. The very next day, they lifted it, and Martha was back to blogging! Newspapers all over the world wrote about Martha’s story. Her blog became more famous than ever. As of today, NeverSeconds has nearly 7 million page views.

In conjunction with her blog, Martha set up a donation page at a charity called Mary’s Meals, which helps to feed children in the African country of Malawi. When she set up the donation page, Martha’s goal was to raise £7000 (about $10,000) for Mary’s Meals. When her blog became famous, donations shot up. They are currently over £109,000 (about $170,000). Some of the children helped by Martha made a video to thank her. Be sure to watch the video below. Now Mary’s Meals plans to fly Martha and her family to Malawi to meet the children, and to see the new kitchen they are building with the money Martha raised.

Martha’s blog also started a conversation. What are kids eating in schools all over the world? How can it be better? We are so inspired by Martha’s story. We read her blog every day, and we made our own donation to Mary’s Meals on Martha’s behalf. We hope you will be inspired too.

Watch Martha and her dad talk about their project:

Children in Malawi thank Martha and friends for their donations:

Gerry Mandel
About the Author

Back in 1973, I was one of the group of UC Santa Cruz students who put together the early issues of Stone Soup. It was my great pleasure to work on the magazine until I retired in 2017.

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  1. Shubhangi August 31, 2012 at 11:19 pm Reply


  2. Ace Clark September 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm Reply

    That is so neat! I wish sometihng amazing like that would happen to me. Wow Martha!

  3. Lee Ann Huang December 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm Reply


  4. Lee Ann Huang December 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm Reply

    I visited the website!! Cool food

  5. Nikki December 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm Reply

    I also visited the website, and I LOVE Stone Soup. I hope that it continues on and keeps kids writing and creating for years to come.

  6. Nikki December 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm Reply

    Martha is an interesting name. Is it Scottish? Anyway, I love you, Stone Soup!!!!!! 🙂

  7. LiLi Xu May 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm Reply

    It’s great to know that young people are helping others their age! We should all have the oppurtunity to make a difference. Good job Martha – keep up the excellent work!

  8. LiLi May 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm Reply

    It’s so good to know that young people are helping others their age! Everyone should have an oppurtunity to make their mark on the world. Good job, Martha; keep up the great work!

  9. Amala Khan June 23, 2013 at 11:52 pm Reply

    I am also an 11 years old blogger and my name is Amala. We are going through alot of trouble.
    My blog is:

  10. Intelligent12345 July 9, 2013 at 11:52 am Reply

    Wow! I cannot believe such a young girl can accomplish such a big thing, I am very inspired .

  11. Gabriella May 22, 2014 at 9:12 am Reply

    Oh My goodness That’s AWESOME Martha,Keep up the good work!!!!!

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