‘Tinned Pears’ Director – Libby Burke Wilde – was one of our kitchen hub volunteers during lockdown, helping to make meals for the families at risk of going hungry. We saw the need to raise awareness of the shocking issue of child food poverty and approached Libby for help. Here is why Libby wanted to get involved.

During the lockdown in London 2020 I found myself with a lot of time on my hands. Being a director of short films and commercials my industry completely shut down in March. I wanted to do something to help my local community during this difficult time. Through a chance encounter, I met Patrick – one of the chefs who had been volunteering with Chefs in Schools – and asked if they needed any volunteers. Two days later I was in Grasmere kitchen, dividing up vats of soup in to 200 meal containers. 

Working in the kitchen was an eye opener for me. Physically seeing the food divided up in to hampers by volunteers, then loaded on to vans and delivered all over Hackney made the volume of people in need feel unbearably big. Physically helping to pack over 300,000 meals, and meeting the families who were receiving the hampers made me want to do more. 

Once the lockdown eased and the kids went back to school, the hamper program was scaled back, but the people living in food poverty continues. Chefs in Schools approached me to make a documentary about the work they had done over lockdown, but instead we decided to make Tinned Pears. We felt that a short film made up of true stories that we had read and learned first-hand was the key to getting people to connect with what is a point of national shame. No child should be going hungry, but they are. All over the UK. In 2020. 

A lot of people don’t know that food poverty is so prevalent in the UK. I hope that this film is, at the very least, an eye opener to people, a conversation starter. I hope that this film shines a light on the work that charities like Chefs in Schools are doing and moves people to action.