Sunday, March 20, 2011

Second Harvest Japan (2HJ)’s Kazumasa Haijima, Director of Food Bank Operation, departed from 2HJ’s office in Asakusabashi, Tokyo, at 8 p.m. March 14, driving a 1.5-ton refrigerated truck full of food and blankets. He arrived in Sendai the next day, March 15. Staying on in Sendai, he is receiving food and relief supplies from Tokyo and delivering them to different disaster areas. He is working with a local NPO (Tohoku AGAIN, a food bank in Sendai) to gather information about these areas.

Because the situation is fluid and changes the hour, we present parts of reports from these past three days with the latest updates first. Haijima is sending reports of each day late at night, as there is no time during daytime.

Haijima is currently based at One Family, an NPO in Aoba-ku, Sendai. Aoba-ku has electricity and running water right now. 2HJ’s Board Director Kenji Akimoto has arrived on the 17th with a second truck, a 4-ton truck.

March 18 (Friday) 00:30

Hello everyone. Akimoto-san arrived today (March 17) at 7 a.m.
The supplies were divided among five local trucks waiting here, which departed as scheduled.
We sent out all the supplies while checking the conditions at each disaster area.

My impression is that supplies are arriving at local government’s shelters
But the conditions at each shelter are completely different.
You can tell as soon as you step into one of them.

Supplies are continually being sent from the entire country as distribution recovers.
There are two meals once a day, mainly onigiri and fruits and bread for a meal.
However, many places don’t get hot food.

The newest information is that welfare/nursing facilities inside the city cannot buy supplies.
The elderly and those with disabilities also cannot buy supplies.
There is a long line of people winding around supermarkets.
They have to wait a long time in the cold to buy food and other things.
And the amount they can buy is limited per person.
This is tough for normal people, but even tougher for the elderly and disabled, as they cannot line up in the first place.
And nursing homes were not meant to be shelters, so they don’t receive much support.
They have money, but cannot buy things.

It is snowing here.

On March 17, food and relief supplies were sent to more than 10 areas, including in Miyagi Prefecture Natori City, Shiogama City, Minamisanriku-cho, and Shichigahama-machi.

2HJ’s 4-ton truck arrived from Tokyo.

Supplies are also being unloaded from this truck.

Everyone is unloading.

Standing leftmost is 2HJ Executive Director Charles McJilton. 
2HJ’s Haijima is standing in the middle.

Freshly-made onigiri at One Family.

Unloaded supplies stacked at One Family.

Thanks, everyone, for your donations!

Unloading supplies in the snow.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see photos and descriptions of disaster relief efforts helping the people of Tohoku!