Hackney Community Food Hub’s Victoria Park plates protest

11:01 AM October 11, 2022

More than 700 empty dinner plates were laid down in Victoria Park as part of an installation to protest food poverty.

The Community Food Hub, an east London community group based in Hackney, staged the protest on October 9 in response to YouGov research that found 7.3 million adults in the UK cannot afford to feed their households.

Each plate represents 10,000 of these people going hungry in the UK.

Activist Sean Binder said: “The empty dinner plate represents the millions of empty dinner plates that we will see this winter. It represents the fact that people are going hungry today and more and more will go hungry this winter.”

The Community Food Hub founder Michelle Dornelly teamed up with Sean to raise awareness about food poverty in the UK.

Their work is being filmed for a new documentary series called The Changemakers, produced by Paramount+ and Proper Content.

Since being set up in 2020, The Community Food Hub now supports more than 100,000 local people in Hackney, where 48 per cent of children are living in poverty, according to Trust for London data

– Credit: Joe Newman/PinPep

Michelle said: “What we’re trying to demonstrate is ‘our hunger – their decision’. We didn’t make this decision to be hungry.”

Sean added: “It seems to me, from the conversations I’ve had with people who are struggling, that people aren’t listening. 

“So many people feel uncomfortable talking about the reality of their financial struggle. Going to a food hub has so much taboo and shame built into it that people aren’t talking about the amount of struggle that they’ve faced. 

“This is one way of raising awareness without making anyone expose themselves or discuss their vulnerability. 

“I was speaking with politicians, trying to get them to come down. I’ve made calls and I’ve heard no responses and if they’re not coming to us then we can come to them and this is one way of doing that.”

*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE ***Founder of The Community Food Hub, Michelle Dornally, and seasoned ac

Sean hit headlines in 2018 when he spent 106 days in a Greek prison for pulling refugees from the sea, off the coast of Lesvos

– Credit: Joe Newman/PinPep

Michelle continued: “We’re not dealing with this any more. It’s got to stop and hopefully there’ll be other people around the borough – first and foremost – that will join us, and then around the world.

“Sean is here to help me make this situation bigger. He’s going to be working with other activists around the world globally so we can all get together and make one big massive movement.”

The Changemakers is being filmed in Hackney and is set to broadcast in 2023.


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