Short film brings home shocking food poverty message

Kath Hammond

Clara Widdison took a break from her usual job as area manager of the individual and community impact programme at Community Shop, a charity partner of The London Produce Show and Conference 2015, to make The Blue Kitchen. Here the food policy postgraduate student tells Produce Business UK why she felt the no-holds barred, cookery-show style short film on the reality of food poverty was so necessary. 

“I recently attended a screening at City Hall of The Kindness of Strangers, a video made by London Assembly member Fiona Twycross about initiatives tackling food poverty across London. 
“Afterwards an impressive panel made up of Patrick ButlerCarmel McConnell and Felicia Boshorin came together to discuss their reactions to what they are seeing day in, day out. 
“Their message to the audience was simple: ‘Get angry. Be furious.’ A powerful appeal, but one that I felt was lost on those present, who were mostly those who already work tirelessly to eradicate hunger locally and nationally.
“I thought hard about why the general population haven’t responded with the rage with which I, and many others who witness food poverty, respond. 
“From speaking to those who are entirely disconnected from the issue, I came to the conclusion that most people couldn’t even begin to imagine the experience of those living on, or below, the breadline. 
“None of the statistics or case studies quoted in the media mean anything without an understanding of what a lack of nutritious food looks, and tastes, like.
“After watching Fiona’s film, I was inspired to create my own short film. I wanted to put a story behind the statistics that people who don’t work day-to-day tackling food poverty can connect with.
The Blue Kitchen is a foodie-blogger style video. It demonstrates how to cook and eat without sufficient resources to do either satisfactorily. The recipes are shocking. Each is a genuine account of what some people, children and adults, have been forced to eat in place of decent food. 
“This video is aimed at anybody who hasn’t been exposed to food poverty, offering a rare glimpse into the reality of millions of people living in the UK.
“What I would like to see now is for food poverty to rise right up the political agenda. I want the new government to commit to a Zero Hunger country, not just a Zero Hunger city in London.
“I think the whole food industry should look at ways it can increase access to good nutritious food. 
“I do understand how difficult that is; increasing access means lowering prices at a time when suppliers are already under pressure and in the middle we have supermarkets reporting huge losses. 
“Nor is it just the food industry’s responsibility. It is a case of all of us doing our bit.
The Blue Kitchen is there for you to share with those you think might be interested and on social media.” The hashtag is #thebluekitchen.”
Watch The Blue Kitchen

Clara Widdison and Community Shop will be present at the London Produce Show and Conference 2015, which takes place on June 3-5 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London. 



The Latest from PBUK

Subscribe to PBUK!

Get regular produce industry insights, sign up for our email newsletter below.