Meals blogger, 9, thanks supporters

Meals blogger, 9, thanks supporters

Martha Payne, a nine-year-old girl blogger who was banned from taking photos of her school dinners (Mary's Meals/PA)

A ban on a girl blogger taking photos of her school dinners has been lifted

First published in National News © by

A nine-year-old blogger has said a "big thank you" to her supporters after a council lifted a ban barring her from taking photos of her school dinners.

Martha Payne was told she could no longer take the photos to illustrate her NeverSeconds blog, which has notched up more than three million views in just six weeks and won the support of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

However Argyll and Bute Council retreated on the decision after a barrage of negative publicity in the media and social networks. It sparked a massive surge in interest in Martha's blog, helping her raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Martha has used the site to raise money for Mary's Meals, a charity which runs school feeding projects in communities around the world where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education.

In a post on her blog on Friday evening she wrote: "I think you know why I don't have a picture today but I will have on Monday! Thanks to everyone that has helped to get my blog back on track. I would have missed writing it a lot and I'm looking forward to sharing my dinners and yours.

"I worried yesterday that I would never reach enough money to buy a Mary's Meal kitchen in Malawi (31 seconds!) but we have raised a total of £45,889.46 which is more than one kitchen! It could be many kitchens or one kitchen feeding many children for years. A small thank you isn't enough so here's a big THANK YOU to you all!"

So far there have been more than four million page views on her blog.

Donations through her page on the JustGiving website today rocketed from £3,000 to more than £50,000 by 11pm within a couple of hours of Martha's post, well beyond her £7,000 target.

Mary's Meals said she has raised more than enough money to build a kitchen for a school in Malawi and feed the 2,000 children there for a year. It costs £7,000 on average to build and equip a kitchen. The charity will discuss how to use the surplus money with her.

Martha's blog gives a score out of 10 to each meal served for lunch at her school cafeteria in Lochgilphead, a "health rating" and even the number of hairs found in each meal - only one so far. It impressed Oliver, who tweeted: "Shocking but inspirational blog. Keep going. Big love from Jamie x."



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