Friday, July 15, 2011

300 Food Packages Every Week for Evacuees in Minami-Sanriku Town

Second Harvest Japan (2HJ) has started sending food packages to people in Minami Sanriku since June. In this project, our volunteers make some 300 food packages at 2HJ's Tokyo office every Thursday. 2HJ distributes the packages to about 1,400 households living in temporary houses through a volunteer group in Minami Sanriku. A typical package contains items like rice, miso, soy sauce, condiments, dried food, and snacks. To see the places to which the group distributes the food, I, as a volunteer coordinator, visited the site and helped with the distribution of food packages to temporary houses on July 15.

Packing boxes at 2HJ's Tokyo office
Unloading packages from 2HJ's truck and loading them into a local volunteer group's truck in Minami-Sanriku town

First, I visited about 90 temporary houses, which were built where there used to be a camping school and a camping site. I then visited 50 to 60 temporary houses next to the schoolyard of an elementary school.

Distributing food packages each of which weighs more than 20 kg.
This lady said that when the tsunami hit the area, she had wrapped her baby in a towel and run away desperately to the hill.

Most people living there worked in the local fishing industry, but everything was swept away by the tsunami. Now they have no choice but to live in temporary houses. Our food packages were appreciated very much by the recipients because it takes as much as 40 minutes going for shopping as there is no supermarket nearby. One of the recipients said to me, "Thank you for coming all the way from Tokyo."

A message from children from all over the world is attached to every package.

It will take people in temporary houses a long time before they have steady income. Some elderlies who live alone cannot go for shopping by themselves. Demands for our food packages are high. We need to send packages continually.

Food Packaging Volunteers Needed!

Date: Every Thursday
Time: Morning Shift (from 10:00 to 12: 30)
         Afternoon Shift (from 1:30 to 4:00)
Place: 2HJ's Office (see the map.)

To apply, email us at with the date and shift(s) of your choice.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your good thoughts! And I look forward to catching up with everyone!

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